Sunday, March 12, 2006

A First...Almost 100 Years Ago

An important date in aviation history passed without notice a few days ago. It was on March 8, 1910, that the first woman to be granted a pilot's license, received her "brevet" from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Raymonde de Laroche was one of an enthusiastic group of women pilots who took to the skies almost as soon as there were fixed-wing aircraft to fly. And just a little over a year later, Harriet Quimby became the first American woman to be granted a flying license.

About 50 years after Madame de Laroche's feat, I fell in love with a Caribbean-blue amphibian. I never owned that little beauty, but I did get to fly small planes. And though my only flying these days is by way of Southwest Airlines, the fascination and desire remain, and I cannot resist searching the sky when I hear a small plane overhead.

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