This Day in Women's Aviation

Today is Monday, August 21, 2017 10:10 PM

1929 - Early morning of Day 4 of the Women's Air Derby, Pancho Barnes painted "MEXICO OR BUST" on her Travel Air after having wandered into Mexico the day before. She wasn't the only racer to have strayed across the fence. Blanche Noyes also put down in Mexico to find out where she was. When no one spoke English, she figured it out. She had only been a pilot for 6 weeks.

1932 - Earhart, premier woman flier of the world and the only woman to date to have flown solo across the Atlantic, announced that she would sponsor an Amelia Earhart trophy race for woman fliers at the National Air Races in Cleveland later that year. Within a month, she would award the grand prize of an Essex Terraplane automobile to Florence "Tree Tops" Klingensmith.

1943 - The first licensed British aviatrix, Hilda Hewlett, 79, died. Before immigrating to New Zealand, "the old Bird" created and ran the first flying school in the UK and a successful aircraft manufacturing business that produced more than 800 airplanes and employed up to 700 people.

2008 - The first French female fighter pilot, Major Caroline Aigle, 32, died of cancer. She was rated as fighter pilot in 1999 and served in that specialty until last year, logging 1.600 hours, mainly on Mirage 2000. She was the mother of two, the second born some weeks before her death. She was due to take command of a squadron the following year.

2010 - Boulder pilot and avid runner Vici DeHaan set a new record in the Pikes Peak Ascent Race for 75 to 79-year-old women. Her time for the 7,815-foot ascent--13.32 miles from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak--was 6 hours, 17 minutes, 32 seconds, which broke a record that stood for 22 years. Her record for the Pikes Peak Marathon in the female age 65 to 69 division, which stood for 10 years, was broken the same day. It was Vici's 24th Pike's Peak race and her 1,000th running race.