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Amelia Earhart: aviatrix and free woman

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

A pioneer woman, she is however little known to the general public, and the state of the radio archives is revealing of this silence. Indeed, the history of aviation has only remembered the name of Charles Lindbergh.

"In May 1932 I became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, in a flight of almost fifteen hours: from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, to Culmore, Northern Ireland, although the initial plan had been different.

Before we were married, my husband, George Putnam, and I had worked on this project in secret. By the beginning of the year, preparations were complete and we announced that on the fifth anniversary of Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing, I would attempt to repeat the feat.

I left Harbour Grace in the morning with a copy of the local newspaper as a record of the date of the flight. Almost immediately, I found myself in difficulty, due to some dense clouds and ice on the wings... After about twelve hours, the situation worsened and the aircraft began to show signs of mechanical anomalies...

I was scared to death, I won't deny it... but I didn't panic, otherwise it would have ended up really bad!

I could already imagine that I wouldn't be able to get to Paris, as Lindbergh had done, so I started looking for a place to land. Finally I found a small village just outside Culmore: Londonderry, which is in Northern Ireland. Here I landed successfully. I had to thank both luck and the Eternal Father that time! There was a small field, next to a hill, overlooking the Donegal Mountains; from there, people came to cheer me on."

In 1937, five years after his historic solo crossing, Earhart was inspired by another challenge: to fly around the world alone. But this one would prove fatal. The last traces of the aviatrix were seen on July 2, 1937. The mystery surrounding her disappearance would later be the subject of much ink, contributing to her legend as a woman who did not shy away from any challenge in order to push back the limits of the air and of her era.

By Luca, author of the tour "Amelia Earhart.A fearless heart in the sky"

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