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About the Indiana Chapter

The Indiana chapter of the Ninety-Nines was chartered on September 17, 1939, and is a part of the North Central Section of the 99’s.

The Ninety-Nines existed then, as it does now, to support women in aviation.  One of the most important ways the Ninety-Nines supports women pilots is through the Amelia Earhart Memorial scholarship program.  Check out the Scholarships page for more information!

Ninety-Nines also reach out to the community by supporting safety seminars for pilots, and aviation education programs for students and teachers.  Of course, mentoring new pilots, or those working towards a new certificate, rating or career goal, comes naturally as part of the friendship and camaraderie that are part of Ninety-Nines chapters everywhere!

Ninety-Nines members represent the full spectrum of aviation; from pleasure flyers to flight instructors to air line and military pilots.  More than anything, the Ninety-Nines are women who love to fly!

Watch the 1-minute video created by the Lightspeed Foundation, and then keep reading below to learn more about how the Ninety-Nines!

Amelia Earhart and the Ninety-Nines

(Many thanks to Nancy for the following information!)

On October 9, 1929, a letter went out from Fay Gillis Wells to the 117 women pilots who flew in the first Women’s Air Derby in August of that year. The letter recognized a need to promote women in aviation and urged them to contact all licensed women pilots to come together and organize in support of each other. They were invited to attend a meeting on November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island. Twenty-six showed up and while they were engaged in controversy over the naming of their new organization, the argument suddenly ended “when a very calm voice in the background said, “Why don’t we name ourselves after the number of our charter members?” That voice was Amelia Earhart’s.

Of the 117 licensed women pilots, 99 joined the organization as charter members, thus the name of Ninety-Nines, International Organization of Women Pilots. Amelia Earhart became its first President in 1931. The current membership is about 6000, world wide.

Fay Gillis Wells and Amelia Earhart were close friends as well as strong advocates for each other and all women pilots. Each of them left a remarkable legacy for other women to follow.

Amelia was the first woman to cross the Atlantic in 1928 and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932. When questioned by reporters as to why she had done it, she answered that she just wanted to see if she could fly the Atlantic alone. “My particular inner desire to fly the Atlantic alone was nothing new to me. I had “flown Atlantics” before. Everyone has his/her own Atlantics to fly. Whatever you want very much to do, against the opposition of tradition, neighborhood opinion, and so-called ‘common sense’….that is an Atlantic. I flew the Atlantic because I wanted to. To want in one’s heart to do a thing for its own sake, to enjoy doing it; concentrate all one’s energies upon it…that is not only the surest guarantee of success, it is also being true to oneself.”

In a letter to her husband, George Putnam, she wrote: “….please know that I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried, and when they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”

Amelia Earhart held firm to a core and passionate belief: That women possess the courage and intelligence to do anything we truly want to do. She was a champion role model for all of us.

Amelia Earhart, born July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, disappeared somewhere near New Guinea in July, 1937, while attempting to fly around the world.

Amelia’s continued importance to the 99 organization is exemplified through the Amelia Earhart Scholarship program, the air mail stamp in her name, and the International Forest of Friendship near her birthplace.

© INDIANA NINETY-NINES 2014