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Amelia Earhart flies solo from Hawaii to California

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On January 11, 1935, for the first time, a person flew the Pacific alone from Hawaii to California. It was a woman, a very great woman: Amelia Earhart. We have already spoken of her because three years before this undertaking she had crossed the Atlantic alone. But the distance from Hawaii to California is much greater than that which separates Newfoundland from Ireland. And on that route many aviators had lost their lives trying to fly away. Which Amelia accomplished in eighteen hours. How things went she wrote herself in a beautiful report for National Geographic that ended with a prophecy that at the time seemed incredible: the days were now approaching when transoceanic flights would become a normal thing.

To me it seems that regular air transport across both oceans is inevitable, and will probably come about sooner than most people suspect”

As often happens, the journey began in reverse: on December 22, Amelia, with her long-time collaborators, boarded the ocean-going ship Lurline in Los Angeles bound for Honolulu. The most complicated thing was harnessing the aircraft, which in fact traveled hanging like a lifeboat. Five days after the landing in Hawaii and the start of work on the development of the plane which had been modified to make room for equipment and about two thousand and two hundred liters of fuel.

On January 11, everything was ready and the take-off from Wheeler Field airport was set for two in the afternoon. But in the morning it started to rain, first a light rain, then a tropical storm. The runway for take-off was dirt and when the rain turned to mud, which made taking off a small aircraft weighed down by all that fuel, very risky. At 3:30 in the afternoon the rain stopped, the weather forecast said that in the Pacific the weather would remain good but for a short time. There was no time to wait for the sun to dry the track. At 4.30 Amelia got into the plane and started the engines. A few hundred people followed the maneuvers and in the air there was the fear that things could end badly. At 4:45 am Amelia brought the plane to the point where the run for take-off began. Half of the runway was enough, and after a bounce, the plane took off. Before Amelia soon there was a starry night, “the stars seemed so close, that you could touch them”, and then a dawn like he had never seen it before. Along the route the voyage was followed by the ships that were in the ocean and signaled the passage of the aviator, and by some radio stations that had changed the programming not only to follow the enterprise but also to support it, broadcasting the music that Amelia preferred . Amelia in turn transmitted twice an hour, and on the ground there was a lot of apprehension when she, now close to California, said “I’m tired of the fog” but the message arrived trunk and everyone feared that Amelia was going to sleep. On board he supported her, in addition to a hard-boiled egg, the best hot chocolate of his life, and did not even need to eat the sandwiches they had made for her in Hawaii.


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