Forty-five years ago last month, Amelia Earhart achieved fame as the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic.
Forty-five years ago last month, Amelia Earhart achieved fame as the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic. Although she followed Charles Lindberg by five years, as a woman Amelia established an aviation milestone. Now, another first for women is taking place at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
In the three years since females were accepted for flight training, nearly forty women have earned helicopter pilot wins. Competing with men in a man's world, the women thus far have done better than their male counterparts in meeting the Army Aviation Center's stringent training requirements.
Their academic subjects include meteorology, aerodynamics, and higher mathematics. Each student must also log more than two hundred hours in flight. To pass the nine-month course, students pilots must learn to cope with any situation they may meet in the air.
Current policy prevents women from being assigned to actual combat, even though they will be used in combat support roles. Use of women as pilots, as well as in other fields, provides new opportunities for an Army facing manpower shortages. At the same time, women seeking wider skills are reaching those goals through military service.