Contemporary aviatrix Amelia Rose Earhart stopped at EBACE 2014 this week, one month before she takes off from Oakland, California on The Amelia Project, attempting an aerial circumnavigation of the earth that her namesake never completed. Unlike her namesake, she will be flying a modern Pilatus PC-12 NG single-engine turboprop equipped with a Honeywell Apex glass cockpit and satellite communications by Inmarsat and Satcom1 that will enable her to stream the entire flight to followers around the globe. “The capability we have in this aircraft is incredible,” Earhart said while standing in front of a PC-12 NG at the Pilatus static display here at EBACE yesterday.
Planning for the project started a year and a half ago, the Denver TV newscaster said, and it was officially announced at the EAA AirVenture fly-in in Oshkosh, Wisconsin last summer. The east-to-west journey will begin June 23, weather permitting, and make 17 stops along the 24,000-mi route. No stop at Howland Island, Amelia Mary Earhart’s destination when she disappeared on her 1937 attempted circumnavigation, is planned. However, Earhart intends to overfly the point from which the last transmission from her namesake was heard, and announce there via satellite streaming the names of 10 aspiring female pilots awarded scholarships by a foundation she has established.
A pilot for 10 years, Earhart prepared for the mission by taking a ferry flight in a PC-12 across the North Atlantic and undergoing ditching and open-water survival training in Groton, Connecticut. Shane Jordan, also from Denver, will accompany Earhart and share flight crew duties. In addition to Pilatus, Honeywell, Inmarsat and Satcom1, Amelia Project sponsors include Signature Flight Support, Dallas Airmotive and BBA Aviation. If successful, Earhart will become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the earth in a single-engine aircraft.