Amelia Earhart: Tomboy and Top Pilot



By: Nathan Chandler

4 Min Quiz

Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Amelia Earhart isn't just one of the most famous female pilots in world history -- she's an icon of adventurers everywhere. Unwilling to settle for a normal life, she opted to chase ever-crazier dreams across the world's skies. How much do you know about this celebrity pilot?

Amelia Earhart is best known for which feat?

Earhart was a daring pilot long before planes were truly safe. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.


Earhart was born in which area of the country?

Earhart was a Midwest girl, from the town of Atchison, which is near Kansas City. She was born in 1897.


Where did Earhart see her first airplane?

Earhart's family traveled to the state fair in Iowa, where she saw an airplane for the first time. She was reportedly less than impressed by the antiquated-looking plane.


What was NOT one of her nicknames?

She wasn’t the Sky Princess, but she was Queen of the Air and also Lady Lindy, thanks to her feats that were similar to Charles Lindberg (and also because she looked a bit like him).


With which problem did Amelia's father struggle?

Edwin was a prominent professional but he was also an alcoholic whose drinking affected his job prospects and personal life. It took a toll on his wife and two daughters.


Earhart flew over both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Earhart was never one to rest on her laurels. She decided to fly over both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and she had other remarkable feats of flight, too.


How old was Earhart when she finally took her first plane ride?

She was already 23 when a pilot finally took her for a short joyride. From the first moments, she was hooked.


How many women earned their pilots' licenses BEFORE Earhart?

Earhart was the 16th woman in the country to obtain her pilot license. This accomplishment directed the course of the rest of her life.


What was the name of her first plane?

Earhart's first plane was named the Canary. It was a Kinner Airster that she bought in 1921.


After her first flying lesson, how long did it take Earhart to buy her first plane?

She immediately began saving money for a plane. After about half a year, she had the $2,000 she needed to buy the little machine. That's about $27,000 in today's cash.


What did Earhart do during World War I?

Earhart witnessed a group of wounded soldiers and decided to become a volunteer nurse. She spent much of her time at a hospital in Toronto.


In her first little bi-plane, Earhart set a women's altitude record. How high did she fly?

She pushed the Canary as high as it would go -- about 14,000 feet. It wasn't long before she began devising even bolder feats.


She was brave ... but how did Earhart do in school?

Earhart was whip-smart in school (she attended Columbia University twice) but was just too restless to earn a degree. She eventually dropped out of classes for good.


In what capacity did Earhart become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic?

In 1928, she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic in a plane, but she was simply a passenger, "like a sack of potatoes," she said. But the experience made her think that she could someday fly it alone.


Earhart's mother was the first woman to do what?

Earhart's mother was restless and bold, too. She was the first woman to climb Pikes Peak in Colorado.


The adventurer never bothered to marry.

Earhart married George Putnam in 1931. Even within the marriage, she asserted her independence, refusing to simply follow her husband's lead.


How did Earhart know George Putnam?

After her first trans-Atlantic flight, Earhart wrote a book and Putnam was in charge of publicity. Thanks in part to Putnam, she became a celebrity long before she attempted her daring solo flight.


In 1930, Earhart set a women's speed record in one of her planes. How fast did she go?

She zipped along at 181 mph. For years, she continued to set more records for both speed and distance.


In 1932, Earhart attempted her first solo crossing of the Atlantic. She started in Canada. Where did she land?

She flew from eastern Canada to Ireland. The journey took her about 15 hours.


Earhart was the first human (man or woman) to fly which stretch solo?

In 1935, she flew from Hawaii to Oakland, California. She was the first person ever to accomplish this feat.


In 1937, Earhart decided to try what feat?

She decided to fly around the world at the equator, a feat that no one had ever before attempted. In the 30s, this was a nearly insane stunt due to the relatively primitive state of aircraft technology.


How many miles would the circumnavigation of the Earth cover?

The attempt would have to cover about 29,000 miles. It meant modifying the plane to include a substantially larger fuel tank so that they wouldn't run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere.


How many people joined Earhart for her historic attempt?

Even Earhart wouldn't attempt this feat alone -- she had three men as part of her crew to help her navigate and stay alive during the journey.


What happened to the crew in Hawaii?

As the crew took off for the second leg of the trip, the plane malfunctioned somehow, stranding the crew in Hawaii. One man abandoned the adventure. Months later, Earhart and Noonan decided to try again.


How did the first legs of the trip go for Earhart and Noonan?

Earhart and Noonan were cruising along. They started the trip for a second time in June 1937 and made excellent progress, eventually getting 22,000 miles out of the way.


Why did Noonan have a hard time figuring out where they were during the trip?

In the mid-1930s, maps were still rudimentary, meaning the two had to constantly reevaluate their location. Eventually, they made it all the way to New Guinea and then headed out for the last segment of their epic trip.


Where did Earhart's plane disappear?

Her plane disappeared somewhere around Howland Island, a tiny island in the Pacific between Australia and Hawaii. It was an alarming development in what so far had been a fairly uneventful trip.


How big is Howland Island?

At about one mile long, Howland Island isn't much more than a grain of sand in the endless blue Pacific. It was an exceptionally tiny target for a two-person crew back in the 1930s.


Earhart and Noonan went missing in a vast area of open sea. What happened next?

Earhart was a bona fide celebrity and government spent millions of dollars trying to find her in the biggest search in Navy history. But no one ever found conclusive evidence of the crew's fate.


What happened to Earhart in 1939?

She simply disappeared during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The government finally declared her dead in 1939. Research teams are still hoping to someday find hard evidence of her final resting place.


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