First Women Pilot

First Women Pilot

Blanche Stuart Scott started driving her father’s car around Weld St at the age of 6, before minimum age restrictions.  As she grew older she became inspired by Alice Ramsey and decided to become the second women to drive cross country.

Sponsored by Willys Overland, Blanche departed New York with a women journalist from the New York Times to cover the journey. The publicity surrounding the event brought her to the attention of Jerome Fanciulli and Glenn Curtiss who agreed to give her flying lessons.

They fitted a limiter to the throttle of her airplane to keep her from taking off during lessons and instructed her on how to taxi the plane around the runaway.

On September 6 1910 a strong gust of wind overtook her plane and propelled her into the air.  She flew in a circle around the runaway and made a gentle landing, intentionally becoming the first women to fly a plane.

Blanche soon became a professional pilot becoming a member of Curtiss’ exhibition. Her flying career as a stunt pilot earned her the nickname ‘Tom Boy of the Air”. She became world renown for flying upside down and “death dives” dropping into a nosedive at 4000 feet only to pull up 200 feet above the ground.

Blanche Stuart Scott eventually retired from aviation, frustrated with the fact that women could not become engineers or mechanics.  She went on to work as a script writer for Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, and a number of radio talk shows.