Sunday, July 21, 2019 06:34

Posts Tagged ‘aviation’

Gallery of the Intrepid – Women In Aviation Edition

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

– Wiccapundit

In which your Wiccapundit gets to indulge: (1) his love of all things aviation; (2) his respect for people who demonstrate exceptional skills and tremendous achievements; and (3) his appreciation for the lovelier half of the population.

Jackie Cochran is even more awesomer than Teh Awesome.

(Jackie in the cockpit of the F-86 Sabre she used to break the sound barrier; with her friend and wingman Chuck Yeager.  You might have heard of him.)

In her 20’s, the incredible Ms. Cochran learned to fly in just three weeks, and quickly obtained her commercial pilot’s certificate (not “license,” because the FAA doesn’t understand what a “license” is).  She then proceeded to establish, oh, just a few aviation records:

First woman to enter the Bendix Inter-continental Air Race (in 1935).

First woman to break the sound barrier, flying the first production airplane to break the sound barrier (with Chuck Yeager as her wingman).

First woman to fly Mach 2.

First woman to land on and take off from an aircraft carrier.

First woman to pilot a bomber across the North Atlantic (in 1941).

First civilian woman to receive the Distinguished Service Medal, for her leadership in creating and commanding the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs), which transported military aircraft overseas during World War II.  Also a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

First woman to fly a jet aircraft across the Atlantic.

The only woman ever to be President of the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.

Five-time winner of the Harmon Trophy as the outstanding female aviator in the world.

Still holds more distance and speed records than any pilot living or dead, male or female.

Oh, yeah, and she worked as a test pilot for both Northrop and Lockheed, and was one of 13 women in the Mercury 13 Project, which considered the use of women as astronauts.  The candidates were not accepted for training, however, as NASA’s requirements for astronauts at the time were that they be military jet test pilots and hold engineering degrees.  In 1962, no women met both those requirements.

She was also a highly successful businesswoman, despite the lack of a formal education.  A lifelong Republican, she narrowly lost a bid for Congress, losing by only 3,199 votes to the first Asian-American Congressman, Democrat Dalip Singh Saund.  This was one of the few failures in her storied career.  (If you can call NOT being elected to Congress a failure.)

She devoted considerable time and money to charitable causes, particularly those assisting persons from impoverished backgrounds like her own.

And to top it off, she was pretty hawt:


Gallery of the Intrepid – Pilot’s Edition

Monday, August 15th, 2011


Here is a cool 3D recreation of the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 ditching in the Hudson River, complete with audio.  When Captain Sullenberger takes the controls from the First Officer (who was flying the plane), he says calmly: “my airplane.”  No muss, no fuss; just quiet competence.  No panic; just getting the job done.

Well done, Captain.   Ever think of running for President?

h/t Ann Barnhardt


Gallery of the Intrepid

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

– Wiccapundit

From the archives of AOPA, the Aircraft Owner’s and Pilot’s Association, comes this story of a man who didn’t let a life-changing accident stop him from fulfilling his lifelong dream.

Logan Flood was a commercial cargo pilot building time toward his goal of becoming an airline pilot.  He suffered second- and third-degree burns over most of his body after an early-morning crash in icy weather.  He lost all or part of every finger of his right hand, and his contact lenses had melted onto his eyes.  He was given a 13% chance of living, but he survived and recovered from his injuries.

He resumed flight instructing six years after the accident, but believed that flying for the airlines was out of the question.   When one of his flight students encouraged him to try anyway, he obtained a “statement of demonstrated ability” medical waiver from the FAA, and applied to several airlines.

He now flies regional jets for Republic Airlines.  His flame-scarred face sometimes causes people to stare at him in airport terminals.  But some people do understand:

A flight attendant told him one passenger took her aside to ask whether Flood had been injured in an aircraft accident.

When the flight attendant said yes, the passenger asked her to relay a message.

“Tell him he’s got guts,” the passenger said. “Tell him I admire him.”

I’d fly with him any day.