Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Highest-time female pilot: world record set
by Evelyn Bryan Johnson
MORRISTOWN, Tenn., USA --Evelyn Bryan
Johnson, 100, nicknamed "Mama Bird", has logged
57,635.4 flight hours (equivalent to 6½ years)-setting the
world records for the Highest-time
female pilot and the oldest
flight instructor in the world.
Photo: Evelyn Bryan Johnson, nicknamed
"Mama Bird," the female pilot with the greatest number of
flying hours in the world.
“I’d be getting more [flight time] if I
didn’t have glaucoma and could get a medical,” she said.
On November 4th, the Tennessee Aviation
Hall of Fame aviatrix, who has logged 57,635.4 flight hours,
turns100 years old.
“You only have one 100th birthday,”
laughed Johnson, who said her 57,635.4 flight hours still
qualify her as the highest-time
female pilot and the highest-time
Her male counterpart, John Edward "Ed" Long,
has more than 64,000 hours -- seven years -- in the air.
"She is the single most incredible person
I know. She has touched the lives of so many people in aviation,
in our state and beyond," says Bob Minter, director of the
Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame.
AOPA Online reports that Mama Bird, who
lives in Morristown Tennessee, still serves as manager of
the Moore-Murrell Airport in her hometown.
Though she no longer is flying, glaucoma
cost Johnson her medical certificate, she told AOPA “I’ve
enjoyed that for 56 years, and still do every day. I enjoy
everything about aviation and flying.”
Mama Bird was a CFI and a Designated
Pilot Examiner, having given over 9,000 flight tests over
her career. AOPA reports the Guinness Book of World Records
lists her as the highest-time
female pilot, and the highest
time living pilot.
The city of Morristown is building a new
terminal building at Moore-Murrell, which will be named after
The Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame plans
to commemorate Johnson’s birthday on Nov. 14, before the eighth
annual Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Gala and Induction
Ceremony at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation in Sevierville.
More information on the event is available
on the Tennessee
Aviation Hall of Fame’s Web site. Johnson was inducted
into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Johnson is an inductee of the Women in Aviation
Pioneers Hall of Fame, the Tennessee and Kentucky aviation
halls of fame and others. She was awarded a bronze Carnegie
Medal for rescuing a helicopter pilot after he crashed.
As to her birthday, Johnson always said
"I used to say that on my birthday Willard Scott would tell
me happy birthday, but I wouldn’t hear him because I’d be
up flying.” “I never thought I’d have a medical problem such
as eyesight that would keep me from doing that flying.”
Although she’s no longer logging time aloft,
Johnson—of Morristown, Tenn.—continues to serve as manager
of Moore-Murrell Airport. “I’ve enjoyed that for 56 years,
and still do every day,” she said. “I enjoy everything about
aviation and flying.”
“I haven’t known many people who were 100,
myself. It’s fun to think about it. How have I gotten so many
things done in as short a time as 100 years?” she laughed.
“Now it’s about here.”
What's the secret of a long, productive
"Don't sit down and watch the grass
grow. Stay busy. Have something that you have to get up and
do every day. Anybody that can move around at all can get
interested in something and stick with it." Read
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November 3, 2009