She traveled in tricky weather conditions and technical problems like brake failure, but everything went well. Even her radio broke, but she decided to look on the bright side and entertained herself by singing songs on the plane.
Jerrie got to stop in countries like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, where she learned a lot and made quite an impression on the locals. Finally, she returned to Columbus on April 17th, 1964, making her the first woman in U.S. history to fly around the world solo.
After her historic trip, Jerrie only made one more big flight. She had been given a new plane, a Cessna P-206. When she knew she was ready to end her career as a pilot, she decided to fly the aircraft to Papua, New Guinea, where she would donate it to a charity organization.
On May 4th, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Jerrie with the Federal Aviation Agency Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.
Although she retired from taking massive trips around the world, Jerrie’s love for flying never went away. She passed away at her home in Florida at the age of 88 in 2014.
As women in the aviation industry continue to make history, it’s important to remember some women who paved the way, like Jerrie most certainly did.
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