This Month in History

By Regan Tunstall

On April 8th, 1931, Amelia Earhart broke a record altitude by climbing to 18,415 feet in a Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro. No one had been able to get that high in an autogiro up to even 18,000 feet, but that day Earhart did it twice. She was flying over Warrington, Pennsylvania ending with a flight duration of 1 hour and 49 minutes. Earhart had a sealed barograph aboard to record the altitude for an official record which was later sent to the National Aeronautic Association for certification. After this celebratory day, Earhart goes on to break even greater records in the aviation field and eventually becomes one of the most well-known woman aviators in history.  

On May 3rd, 1952, the first landing at the North Pole was made. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph O. Fletcher and Lieutenant Colonel William P. Benedict landed a ski equipped U.S Air Force C-47 Skytrain with 8 others alongside them. Including, Lieutenant Herbert Thompson as their navigator, Sergeant Harold Turner as the flight engineer, Robert L. Wishard as the radio operator, Arctic research scientist Dr. Albert P. Crary and his assistant Robert Cotell. Also aboard the Skytrain was Fritza Ahl, Master Sergeant Edison T. Blair and David R. Dobson. 

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