Amelia Earhart became the first female pilot to complete a solo trans-Atlantic flight, in 1932. A champion for equal rights, Amelia later wrote best-selling memoirs and contributed to the women pilot’s group The Ninety-Nines. In 1937, Amelia disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean and was later declared dead.
Bessie Coleman was an American civil aviator and the first African-American woman to hold a pilot license. Nicknamed Queen Bess, Coleman became a high-profile pilot in the air shows organized in the United States. Bessie Coleman died at the age of 34 in a plane crash. Her efforts to promote aviation inspired the Native American communities.
Susan Oliver was an American actress, aviator, and television director. She achieved popularity after appearing in popular TV series like Star Trek. Susan Oliver also achieved fame as an aviator; in 1967, she became only the fourth woman to fly a single-engined airplane solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was an American aviator and writer. She is best remembered for her exploratory flights along with her husband and pioneer aviator, Charles Lindbergh. Anne was the first woman to earn a US glider pilot license in 1930. In 1996, Anne Morrow Lindbergh was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Betty Ong was an American flight attendant who was declared a hero by the 9/11 Commission after the September 11 attacks. Ong was aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which was hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists on 11 September 2001. Betty Ong notified the ground crew of the hijacking, becoming the first person to alert the authorities.
US Air Force veteran MJ Hegar has also been a Democratic candidate for the 2020 US Senate election for Texas. Known for her bestselling autobiography Shoot Like a Girl, she was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor for her fearless military service in Afghanistan, where she was shot at.
American aviation pioneer Geraldyn M. Cobb was part of the pathbreaking Mercury 13 program and scripted history as the first female candidate to pass astronaut testing. She had a pilot’s license by 18 and later found new air routes to the Andes and the Amazon rain forests and immersed herself in humanitarian work.
A pioneer in women’s aviation, US pilot Jacqueline Cochran was the first female pilot to break the sound barrier. She was also the first woman to lead the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale as its president and the first female Bendix race competitor. She held several other records and also led the organization WASP.
Pioneering US aviator and female movie stunt pilot Pancho Barnes helped develop the first film stunt pilots’ union. The granddaughter of aeronaut and inventor Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, she launched the guest ranch Happy Bottom Riding Club. Her nickname Pancho helped her disguise herself as a man in Mexico in her initial days.
Women’s aviation pioneer, Harriet Quimby became the first female pilot to complete a flight across the English Channel. Starting her career as a journalist for Dramatic Review, she later worked as a drama critic for Leslie’s Weekly, before stepping into aviation. She was killed when her aircraft lost control over Dorchester Bay.
Ellen Church was an American nurse and flight attendant. She wanted to establish herself as a commercial pilot. Since airlines were not hiring women pilots at that time, Church convinced Boeing Air Transport that having nurses as flight-stewardesses would help bring in more passengers. Subsequently, in 1930, Ellen Church became the first female flight attendant.