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History of the 99’s
 
 

The Ninety-Nines, Inc. is an international organization of women pilots from 44 countries. While the organization has been international in scope since it’s founding. We currently have thousands of members throughout the world the majority of its members live in the United States. We are a non-profit, charitable membership corporation holding 501(c)(3) U.S. tax status.

The organization was founded November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. All 117 women pilots at the time were invited to assemble for mutual support, the advancement of aviation and a central office to keep files on women in aviation. Louise Thaden was elected secretary and worked to keep the group together as they struggled to establish themselves and to grow. Those early purposes continue to guide the organization today.

In 1931, Amelia Earhart was elected the first president, and the group selected the name “Ninety-Nines” to represent the 99 charter members. Membership was immediately opened to other women as they became licensed pilots. In recent years membership has been opened to include women with student pilot certificates.

Today Ninety-Nines are professional pilots for airlines, military, industry and government; we are pilots who teach and pilots who fly for pleasure; we are pilots who are technicians and mechanics. But first and foremost, we are women who love to fly!

 

Coachella Valley Chapter History

The charter date for the Coachella Valley Chapter was November 1, 1949, making us one of the oldest chapters.

The Coachella Valley Chapter was organized by Jacqueline Cochran, the 1941 to 1943 Ninety-Nines International President. Jacqueline achieved so many titles not least of which, the first woman to fly faster than sound. She and her husband purchased a section of land in Indio, California and lived there part time.

From the beginning the Coachella Valley Chapter has been composed of great lady pilots. Winifred Wood was the WASP in charge of Western Flying Command. In 1927 she leased the Palm Springs, CA airport. Mary Nelson was a WASP. In 1947 she was the director of the Palm Springs Airport. Clema Granger, friend and flew with Amelia Earhart. Bobbie Trout held the first Endurance record. Vee Nisleey was a WASP instructor. Gladys Davis operated crop dusting out of Thermal, CA. Eleanor Wagner was director of Thermal Airport.

 

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