Women Flyers Gather at Smithsonian for Opening of Special Exhibit

Pioneer female pilots gathered at the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum in Washington, D.C. on June 10th for the opening of an exhibit dedicated to the history of women in flight. At the opening, Fay Gillis Well, 88, handed Doris Lockness, 87, Amelia Earhart’s blue flag. Both of the women flew with Earhart in the early part of this century. Lockness, who still pilots her own plane, will carry that flag to Kansas where Earhart’s 100th birthday anniversary will be held in late June. Gayle Ranney, a bush pilot in Alaska, was another member of the large group of women pilots who attended the opening. She talked of the self-reliance necessary to fly in Alaska. She commented, “[if a 60-knot storm blows up] you have to tie that puppy downƒI’ve had moments when I’ve said: ‘Hey if I get out of this, I’m not coming back.’ But I always did.” Smithsonian photographer Carolyn Russo compiled the exhibit, which includes photos and biographies of more than 35 female aviators.


The Nando Net - June 12,1997

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