Local women pilots share their love for aviation

2014

Photo by: Dan Cutrona

Amelia Earhart’s disappearance in 1937 remains one of America’s greatest mysteries. Nearly 80 years later, investigations into her final whereabouts continue; for example, earlier this year, The Travel Channel organized a televised—and ultimately unsuccessful—expedition with the goal of recovering the aviator’s remains. The nation’s most famous female pilot and ambassador of women’s aviation seemingly vanished into thin air, and though some have claimed to have discovered remnants of her plane, proof of Earhart’s final whereabouts remains a question mark. While the pilot’s actual bones are most likely somewhere near Fiji in the South Pacific, one might say pieces of her heart and soul have landed safely on a very distant island—Cape Cod. Nestled in the airfields of Falmouth and Marstons Mills, a community of women aviators is following Earhart in flight.

In April, Cape Cod LIFE met with six of these local pilots at the residence of Olga Mitchell, in the Falmouth Airpark, where fellow aviators Candie Oldham and Sherry Grobstein have also landed. Uniquely, most homes in the neighborhood feature not only a garage for the residents’ vehicles but also a hangar for their airplanes. The pilots can simply walk out their back doors, open up their hangars, and taxi their planes to the runway.

Though the pilots have a diverse range of flight experience, they each have a shared passion for aviation and are all members of the Ninety-Nines, Inc., the International Organization of Women Pilots of which Earhart was a founding member. During the course of a Sunday morning, the women shared how they got involved in flying, what they love so much about it, and a few anecdotes from their greatest aerial adventures.