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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Amelia Earhart Attempts To Complete Her Namesake’s Flight

Amelia Rose Earhart will fly around the world in a single-engine aircraft in an effort to recreate and symbolically complete her namesake’s flight, which ended in mystery when she disappeared over the South Pacific, 77 yrs ago. (Courtesy of Amelia Rose Earhart)

Amelia Rose Earhart will fly around the world in a single-engine aircraft in an effort to recreate and symbolically complete her namesake’s flight, which ended in mystery when she disappeared over the South Pacific, 77 yrs ago. (Courtesy of Amelia Rose Earhart)

It’s been 77 years since the famed female aviator Amelia Earhart attempted to circumnavigate the globe. Her plane mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.

Tomorrow, a 31-year-old woman with the same first and last name will make the same journey in attempt to “close her flight plan.”

Amelia Rose Earhart, who recently found out that she is not related to the late aviator, will begin her journey from Oakland, California, circling the globe around the equator.

Although they are not related, Amelia says she is inspired by her name to make this expedition. She talks about her chance to become the youngest woman to circumnavigate a single-engine aircraft with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Amelia Rose Earhart's route is illustrated on this map. (Courtesy)

Amelia Rose Earhart’s route is illustrated on this map. (Courtesy)

Interview Highlights: Amelia Rose Earhart

On learning that she was not related to Amelia Earhart

“A really good friend of mine who is a big supporter of the whole concept of the flight around the world had a really good point. He said to me, ‘Just because your name is Amelia Earhart, the FAA didn’t walk up to you and hand you a pilot’s license.’ He said, ‘You’ve still put the same amount of hard work into this process, you still understand the aircraft, and you’re still passionate about flight. So, absolutely, you’ve got to fly around the world.’ And that really sealed it for me.”

On her choice of a single engine aircraft to make the journey

“The reliability of a single engine aircraft today in 2014 is vastly different than it was back in the 1930s. So, while there is still a component of adventure with any flight over water, I felt most connected to the Pilatus. It’s a beautiful aircraft. The cockpit is absolutely state-of-the-art — we’ve got synthetic vision, we’ve got dual GPS. So, it’s very safe, but, I also had an interesting opportunity, in that if I completed this flight, I could be the youngest woman to ever fly a single engine airplane all the way around the globe.”

On being given the name Amelia Earhart

“Essentially, my parents say they felt that they had a great opportunity with my dad’s last name being Earhart. They said, listen, we could name our daughter something really strong with a great tie to history. We can give her a great role model and inspiration, but at the same time, we can also give her a name that literally no one she meets will ever forget. And that certainly is the case. It definitely leaves an impression.”

Guest


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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