AVIATION

Modern-day Amelia Earhart lands in Miami

 
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campel@MiamiHerald.com

Aviation goggles no more: The modern-day Amelia Earhart landed in Miami wearing rolled-up jeans and pink Nikes.

Amelia Rose Earhart — no relation to the pioneering aviator of yore — finished the first leg of her around-the-globe flight Friday.

The former TV reporter, 31, decided 10 years ago to learn to fly to honor her namesake. Over time, she hatched a plan to finish Amelia Mary Earhart’s fateful flight.

When the plane passes over Howland Island, where the first Earhart failed to land, the Fly With Amelia Foundation will give 10 flight-training scholarships to young women. Amelia Rose Earhart hopes her journey will inspire girls to join the aviation industry as pilots, mechanics or administrators.

“It seemed to me that the girls at the high school level still related to me,” she said.

Amelia Rose and her safety pilot, Shane Jordan, won’t have much time to see Miami, where Amelia Mary first announced her intention to circumnavigate the globe. They head for Trinidad and Tobago at 6 a.m. Saturday as part of a plan to see the sun rise all around the world.

Their plane is stocked with plenty of snacks — but has no restroom.

Past mingled with present Friday as admirers awaited the arrival from Denver of Amelia Rose Earhart’s plane at Landmark Aviation Hangar.

Orlando Morning Sentinel front pages from 1937 blared headlines about the first Earhart’s flight. Her disappearance on her round-the-world journey remains one of aviation’s greatest mysteries.

Barrington Irving, a Miami pilot who circumnavigated the globe in 2007, warned the modern-day Earhart to be careful about drinking water overseas.

An enthusiastic group of former Pan Am flight attendants posed for photos in their original blue uniforms, down to the stockings and white gloves.

“I still love airplanes and the aviation industry,” said Carolyn Brownstein, who worked in Pan Am’s offices for 20 years. “I have jet fuel in my blood.”

Renate Van Kempema, who first wore her Pan Am uniform in 1967, said she was thrilled to see the modern Earhart support female aviation students. A lot has changed since she started flying — an age when stewardesses were not allowed to gain weight, wear glasses or be married, she said.

Earhart hopes she’ll be part of another sea change for women, who make up only 6 percent of pilots in the world, according to Women in Aviation International.

“When we are 16, 17, 18 years old, we feel like we can do anything,” she said.

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