Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees named

Women in Aviation, International has selected the 2014 inductees into its International Pioneer Hall of Fame. These women will be honored at WAI’s 25th Annual International Conference, which will be held March 6-8, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The ceremony will take place at the closing banquet on Saturday, March 8, 2014.

“We honor these women so that their names and accomplishments are never forgotten,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian.”These are women who didn’t just break down barriers; they opened the door for other women as well. During our induction ceremony, our members can interact with people they may have only read about in books or seen on a website.”

The 2014 Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductees are:

Nancy J. Currie (Col., USAF ret.) became a NASA astronaut in 1991. Her technical assignments within the Astronaut Office included flight crew representative for crew equipment; lead for the Remote Manipulator System, and spacecraft communicator, providing a communications interface between ground controllers and flight crews. A veteran of three space flights, she has logged over 737 hours in space. She was a mission specialist on STS-57 in 1993, STS-70 in 1995, and STS-88 in 1998 (the first International Space Station assembly mission).

Beryl Markham was a British-born author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night, first published in and rediscovered and reissued in 1982.

Sally Ride was the first American woman to go into space when she flew on the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983. She was also the first American woman to travel to space a second time when she was aboard another Challenger mission in 1984. A long-time advocate for improved science education, Dr. Ride wrote five science books for children: To Space and Back; Voyager; The Third Planet; The Mystery of Mars and Exploring Our Solar System. She also initiated and directed education projects designed to fuel middle school students’ fascination with science.

Sheila Scott was a British pilot who between 1965 and 1972 flew her way into aviation history with more than 100 flying records, trophies and awards. Scott first flew around the world in 1966, covering about 31,000 miles in 189 flying hours. She set world records when she flew between London and Cape Town (1967) and across the North Atlantic Ocean (1967), the South Atlantic Ocean (1969), and from equator to equator over the North Pole (1971). After her record polar flight, she made a third around-the-world solo flight, earning her 100th world-class record. She wrote I Must Fly (1968) and On Top of the World (1973; U.S. title Barefoot in the Sky, 1974).

The Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or opened doors of opportunity for other women. Each year, the organization solicits nominations from throughout the aviation industry for the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame.

The 2014 Conference celebrates 25 years of WAI Conferences. With the theme “Today’s Vision, Tomorrow’s Reality,” the WAI Conference will include professional development seminars, education sessions, tours, workshops, networking events, speakers, and a commercial exhibit area.

The conference concludes on Saturday, March 8, with WAI’s annual banquet where dozens of scholarships are awarded and the 2014 group of Pioneers is inducted into WAI’s Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame.

For more information: WAI.org

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