Wednesday, July 02, 2014

77-Years On, Amelia Earhart Flying Around the World Once Again

On July 2, 1937 – exactly 77 years ago today – famed aviator Amelia Earhart went missing over the Pacific. At the time, she and her copilot Fred Noonan, were attempting to circumnavigate the globe aboard her Lockheed Electra aircraft when they somehow got off course, were unable to find their refueling station at Howland Island, and were never seen or heard from again. In the years that followed, the ultimate fate of Earhart and Noonan has been one of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century, with search teams still hoping to locate their final resting place to this day.

Fast forward to today, and another Amelia Earhart is attempting to complete her namesakes journey, and is in the midst of her own round the world flight. Dubbed the Amelia Project, 31-year old Amelia Rose Earhart took off from Oakland, California and has been making steady progress on her circumnavigation attempt ever since. Her flight path has taken her to Denver, then on to Miami, before turning south towards Trinidad and Tobago, and on to Brazil. After a brief stop there, she has crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and is now flying across Africa with a stop in Senegal, before arriving in her current location in Tanzania. Her future stops include visits to the Seychelles, Maldives, Singapore, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati (where her predecessor may have gone missing!), Hawaii, and then back to her starting point in Oakland. When she is done, Amelia will have covered some 24,300 nautical miles (45,000 km) in her Pilatus PC-12 NG airplane.

Like the original Amelia Earhart, this one isn't flying alone either. She is accompanied by her co-pilot, Shane Jordan. If everything goes as expected, the pair hope to complete their flight on Saturday, July 12. You can follow their progress through Amelia's excellent Twitter feed and on Facebook.

Earhart earned her pilots license in 2010, and went on to get her instrument rating last year. She has seen her flying lessons as quite a liberating adventure, and wants to share that with others. To that end, she has set up the Fly With Amelia Foundation, and is awarding scholarships to aspiring female pilots as well.

A great story on a day to remember the original Amelia Earhart.

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