Amelia Earhart: Seven Interesting Facts About the Famed Pilot

Feb 2, 2024, 08:28 PM IST

Amelia Earhart: Seven Interesting Facts About the Famed Pilot

Nishtha Badgamia

Born on July 24, 1987, in the US state of Kansas, Amelia Mary Earhart went on to become a record-setting pilot and female icon. However, there is more to Amelia than her record of being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

‘Not Impressed’

Before she dreamed of becoming the first woman to fly around the world, 10-year-old Earhart, saw her first plane at a state fair. “It was a thing of rusty wire and wood and looked not at all interesting,” she said dismissively. It was not until a decade later that Earhart became interested in aviation.

Almost Had a Medical Career

During World War I, Earhart worked as a Red Cross nurse’s aide in Canada and went on to enrol at Columbia University as a pre-med student. However, by 1921, she had begun flying lessons and instead bought her first aeroplane.

She Didn’t like Coffee or Tea

Earhart reportedly did not like coffee or tea and kept a bottle of smelling salts to keep herself awake during long flights. However, she did reveal her favourite drink while flying across the Atlantic – a mug of hot chocolate.

Broke Several Aviation Records

Earhart was the first woman to breach 14,000 feet solo, just a year after she received her licence! In 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Three years later she became the first person to fly solo from the Hawaiian islands to the United States mainland.

First Woman to Fly Autogiro

In 1930, Earhart became the first woman to fly an autogiro after just 15 minutes of training. She also set the first autogiro altitude record and made two autogiro cross-country tours – all three were marked by public crashes.

First Woman Vice President of National Aeronautic Association

Earhart was the first woman VP of the NAA which authorised records and races. She persuaded the association to establish separate female records since women did not have money or planes, and therefore the experience, to fairly compete against men for “world” titles.

Jack Of All Trades

While Earhart is known for her many aviation records, she was also a fashion designer and created a line of ‘functional’ women’s clothing. She also designed a line of lightweight luggage and was a visiting professor at Purdue University.