Pioneering Aviator Remembered During Women’s History Month

PEACHTREE CITY, USA – March is Women’s History Month, and we honor Harriet Quimby, a pioneering aviator who paved the way for future women pilots. 

Born in Michigan on May 11, 1875, Quimby would become a journalist and attend her first airshow in 1910. The following year, she became the first American woman to earn a pilot’s license. Her flights received a lot of press attention, and she built on her notoriety by joining an aviation exhibition team. 

As one of the country’s few female pilots, Quimby drew crowds whenever she competed. She capitalized on her femininity by wearing trousers tucked into high laced boots accentuated by a plum-colored satin blouse. 

Quimby became the first woman to pilot an aircraft across the English Channel on April 16, 1912. Her accomplishment received little attention, as the media was focused on the sinking of the Titanic the day before. 

Ten weeks later, disaster struck during an aviation meet in Massachusetts. Her brand-new Bleriot monoplane unexpectedly pitched forward for unknown reasons, and she and a passenger fell to their deaths. Quimby was only 37 years old.

Quimby was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Long Island Air and Space Hall of Fame in 2012.

Pioneering aviator Harriet Quimby in her Blériot monoplane.
Harriet Quimby in her Blériot monoplane.