Claire Walters, founder of the Palms to Pines air race, died Jan. 1. She was 86.
Walters was a long-time member of the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of women pilots. At the time of her death she was the president of the Palms chapter of the organization. Walters began her aviation career in 1941. She was a CFI and FAA Designated Examiner based out of Santa Monica Airport (SMO) in Southern California. During air races and other Ninety-Nines activities she entertained pilots with stories of teaching the Hollywood stars to fly.
In addition to being an accomplished pilot, she was also the author of “This Flying Life, The Story of Claire L. Walters and Friends,” with Betty McMillen Loufek.