January 21, 2015

Jet Linx Exclusive Preview: Amelia Rose Earhart


private jet cardexclusive previewAmelia Rose Earhart

In 1937, Amelia Mary Earhart began her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. In 2014, Amelia Rose Earhart completed her namesake’s flight in a Pilatus PC-12 NG. Related only by a passion for aviation, Amelia Rose Earhart started her flight around the world June 26 with co-pilot Shane Jordan, finishing Friday, July 11.

Amelia Rose Earhart obtained her private pilot license in 2010 and spent 8 years as a television and radio reporter in Denver and Los Angeles. Today, she lives in Denver and serves as Director of the 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, where she sits on the board. She commemorated her namesake during her flight, announcing Fly with Amelia Foundation flight-training scholarships for young women as she flew over Howland Island, the destination Amelia Mary failed to reach. Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Amelia Rose’s upcoming book.

Twenty-four thousand, three hundred nautical miles. Six equatorial crossings. Fourteen countries over the course of eighteen days.

My global flight had only one engine and only one route, but there were two Amelias on board that aircraft.

June 26th, 2014 marked the beginning of this daunting trek, my symbolic completion of the ill-fated 1937 attempt at an Earth rounding flight by the first Amelia Earhart. My journey began like many do; with cases filled with fully charged, meticulously organized camera gear, cleanly folded maps, and myself, the bright-eyed adventurer out to prove that I could do what I said I would do. When July 11th rolled around, the final leg of the flight, the dinged-up cameras were strewn about the aircraft, filled with images too beautiful and memory-filled to put to words, the maps were worn ragged and soft along their longitudinal folds, and my eyes were brighter, more compassionate and somewhat wiser. When I touched down in Oakland, CA, I had finally let go of the need to prove my ability to others, because I had proven to myself that I could do what I set out to do. I had closed my namesake’s flight plan and found my own way in flight.

Leg 4: Trinidad & Tobago to Natal, Brazil

Tracking on a heading of 173, I have taken wing at 27,000 feet above the slight undulations of emerald green rainforest and woven seams of threaded streams all merging into well-defined rivers. A transparent glaze of sheer ice crystals paves a thin path for our gleaming machine. In the distance, slightly Southeast of our current position, rises a towering mass of cumulus clouds over the seemingly endless blue sea, jagged around its low-slung edges, visibly building with eruptive force to the upper levels, close to 45,000 feet. Surrounding the impending storms are lucid cobalt skies, streaked with faint paintbrush strokes that have graced our windscreen with an artist’s touch.

As I fly over Northern Brazil, I am on course for another two hours and twenty minutes before a mid afternoon arrival in Natal. Scanning engine readings, the hum of the turbine blades of our PT6 engine march a steady beat that instills more than just confidence, it instills determination. Four days into a flight around the globe, our clean, fledgling, airplane seems as eager to track the equator as we are. Surrounded by modern technology, the feeling of golden aged flight still echoes in the cockpit. Onboard our aircraft: a route, a means to arrival, fuel in the tanks and an engine that is the heart of our sterling machine. Enigmatic destinations with a touch of the unknown fill the next twelve landing spots, stories of a global circumnavigation in the making.

The flight around the world blazed by in a furry of over flight permits, customs checks, weather briefings, fueling of the Pilatus PC12 NG, rushed hotel stays, cat naps on the fuel tank, social media posts, and shutter snaps on my multiple cameras along the way. Hostile greetings turned to lasting connections and memories with new friends in remote and seemingly dangerous situations. Perceptions about what it would feel like to cruise over 2,500 nautical miles of open South Pacific ocean in a single engine aircraft turned to confidence in the technology that now supports aviators all across the globe.

The question I often get asked about the flight around the world is, “Did you feel an obligation to complete this flight because you were named after the first Amelia Earhart?” My answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”

Read more from Amelia’s book in SOAR Magazine, in mailboxes this month, and online at JetLinx.com.

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