One of history’s greatest unsolved mysteries involves legendary aviatrix Amelia Earhart, who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 while attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Earhart, who had become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic five years earlier, took off from New Guinea with her navigator, Fred Noonan, en route to Howland Island and was never seen again. Numerous theories have been put forward to explain what happened, but none have ever been proven.
Now, 77 years later, Amelia Earhart will complete that ill-fated around-the-world flight. Amelia Rose Earhart, a 31-year-old California native and current Denver resident, will attempt to recreate that famous flight and finish what her namesake started. In doing so, she will etch her name in the record books in true Earhart fashion by becoming the youngest woman in history to fly around-the-world in a single-engine aircraft.
She, along with co-pilot Shane Jordan, will depart from Oakland on Thursday, June 26, and make 17 stops in 14 countries over the next two-and-half weeks. She won’t be piloting a twin-engined Lockheed Vega like her predecessor, instead opting for a modern, single-engine Pilatus PC-12 NG equipped with state-of-the-art safety and navigation gear.
Amelia Rose grew up believing that she was a distant relative of her famous namesake, but alas, a recent genealogical study proved otherwise. She took her first flying lesson while attending the University of Colorado and immediately became hooked.
In an interview with Huffington Post, she said, “I was about 21 when I had my first flight. It was the first time I could afford to take a flight lesson, and I absolutely fell in love with the process.”
That passion led her to becoming a weather and traffic reporter in Los Angeles and Denver, initially spending time in a traffic helicopter before working her way up to a studio position. Earhart earned her private pilot’s license in 2010, and in 2012, she completed her instrument training hours by flying coast-to-coast from Oakland to Miami, the same route the original Amelia flew on her last transcontinental flight.
The modern-day Amelia left her job at KUSA Channel 9 to pursue the around-the-world flight and also devote more time to the Fly With Amelia Foundation, a (501c3) she founded to promote women in aviation and provide flight-training scholarships to young women ages 16-18.
To learn more about the famous female aviation pioneer, check out her official website.