Women have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to do what men can do over the years. When it comes to the aviation industry, it’s no different. During this year’s Women’s History Month, when women’s contributions to historical events are recognized and celebrated everywhere, we want to shine a light on the most recognized female pilots, who overcame gender discrimination to compete in air events, fly solo and break speed and altitude records.

Pristine Jet Charter honor all that women have accomplished throughout history and support women who are looking to pursue a career in aviation.

Impactful Women in Aviation History

Harriet Quimby was the first woman in the United States to be granted a pilot’s license in 1911. Her interest in aviation stems from her adventurous nature and previous years as a writer covering aviation-related stories. When the magazine she worked for learned of her plans to document her flight experiences, they offered to pay for her flight lessons. Quimby, eager for the opportunities that aviation would bring her, worked hard to obtain her license; after receiving it, she flew across the English Channel and accomplished numerous other firsts.

“The men flyers have given out the impression that aeroplaning is very perilous work, something that an ordinary mortal should not dream of attempting. But when I saw how easily the man flyers manipulated their machines, I said I could fly.” – Harriet Quimby

In 1922, Bessie Coleman became the first female pilot of either race to be an African American and a Native American. Coleman’s brother, who served in the military during World War I, had taunted her about not being able to learn to fly like French women did, which only spurred Coleman’s ambition to do so. Sadly, she was rejected from American aviation programs because she was a woman and an African American. She eventually gained admission to the Caudron Brothers’ School of Aviation in France, where ladies could learn to soar through the skies. Coleman established a reputation for her in-air stunts and performing prowess, disproving her doubters.

“The air is only the place free from prejudice.” – Bessie Coleman

Another strong female aviator, Amelia Earhart, became fascinated with the notion of flying at a young age. In order to showcase her abilities and experience, she gave herself a makeover to look like a pilot by cutting her hair and she slept in her leather jacket to make it look worn. She also accomplished a record-breaking flight, taking her own biplane 14,000 feet, before her illustrious solo journey over the Atlantic in 1932.

“The stars seemed near enough to touch and never before have I seen so many. I always believed the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, but I was sure of it that night.” – Amelia Earhart

Turkish aviator Sabiha Gökçen was a pioneer. At an aviation facility in Eskişehir, she received training on bombers and fighter aircraft, making her the first female fighter pilot in history. Throughout her career, Gökçen piloted 22 different bombers and acrobatic planes, earning her numerous medals in recognition of her accomplishments.

“Humankind is made up of two sexes, women and men. Is it possible that a mass is improved by the improvement of only one part and the other part is ignored?– Sabiha Gökçen

These women are just a handful of many others who defied expectations and entered the aviation sector to demonstrate that women can succeed in any field they choose. Pristine Jet Charter supports equal rights for women and constantly wants to see success on its teams. In the private jet industry, women aren’t just pilots; they also work as our assistants, in our marketing and sales departments, and in many other capacities. Having been in the charter business for nearly two decades in the UAE and the UK, we hope to see an increase in the number of women willing to enter the field.