Amelia Earhart (Famous Flyers) by Heather Lehr Wagner

By Heather Lehr Wagner

Recognized Flyers highlights aviators who stimulated pop culture throughout the early 1900s, international struggle I and II, and the chilly warfare. This sequence combines historical past and enjoyment interpreting in a fast moving narrative of the lives of a few of the main recognized, and notorious, aviators of the twentieth century. On a misty morning in 1928, a airplane seemed out of the clouds and landed in a small Welsh city. The airplane had come from the United States, and on board used to be the 1st girl to fly around the Atlantic--a younger pilot named Amelia Earhart.

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When the race finally ended, 16 women crossed the finish line. It was the highest percentage of people (men or women) to ever finish a cross-country race. Louise Thaden was the winner, Gladys O’Donnell crossed the finish line just a brief time later, and Amelia arrived third. Despite having what was probably the most powerful plane in the race, Amelia crossed the finish line nearly two hours after the winner. 41 42 AMELIA EARHART The race was an important achievement for all women interested in aviation, and only a few days later Amelia and a group of the other competitors (including O’Donnell, Thaden, and Nichols) met to sketch out their idea for an organization for women pilots.

When she finally reached her destination— Newark, New Jersey—she had managed to break one record: Her flying time was better than that of any other female pilot flying coast to coast. The previous best time had been set by Ruth Nichols—a coast-to-coast crossing of 29 hours, 1 minute, and 49 seconds. Amelia reached the coast (although not nonstop) in 19 hours, 14 minutes, and 40 seconds, nearly 10 hours faster than Nichols’s time. She returned to California for a few more days at the Olympic Games, before once more deciding to try to make the nonstop flight.

Just as her career as a social worker was taking off, another flyer made history. Charles Lindbergh became the first person to make a successful transatlantic flight—crossing the Atlantic Ocean alone. His flight would transform aviation and would transform Amelia’s life, too. A bit less than a year after Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia was called to the telephone as she was helping to organize a class play. On the 33 34 AMELIA EARHART Charles Lindbergh, or “Lucky Lindy,” made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.

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