KHK Celebrates Amazing Women in Aviation

Behind every good man, there’s a great woman… so who’s behind every great woman? Women’s History Month (March), International Women’s Day (March 8), and Women of Aviation Worldwide Week (March 7-13) has had us thinking about some pretty impressive ladies. Aviation history is full of women breaking social norms, setting records, and pioneering new ways.

We’ve managed to narrow down our 5 favorite aviatrix to share them with you here…

amelia_earhart_1928Amelia Earhart: Most famous for being the first female (and second person male or female) to fly nonstop solo across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart was also the first  female to fly nonstop solo across the US, and the first pilot ever to fly solo from Hawaii to the US. Her last mission was to be the first woman to fly around the world. With only a few thousand miles left, Amelia vanished into a stormy night.

 

Jacqueline_Cochran_in_P-40Jacqueline Cochran: Record holder for many altitude, speed, and distance challenges of her time, Jacqueline Cochran, was the first female pilot to take off and land on an aircraft carrier, the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic, and the first pilot ever to fly above 20,000 ft without an oxygen mask. Recruiter and instructor for female combat pilots in WWII, Jacqueline was also the first aviatrix to run a Marilyn Monroe endorsed cosmetics company.


Patty_FltUnlimited
Patty Wagstaff: As one of the best airshow pilots in the world, Patty Wagstaff has claimed gold, silver, and bronze medals in numerous Olympic level international Aerobatic Competitions. She is the first woman ever to become the US National Aerobatic Champion, and one of few to win such a title three times in a row. Patty is the recipient of numerous awards including the “First Lady of Aerobatics” Betty Skelton Award, “Sword of Excellence” Award, and “Bill Barber Award for Showmanship”. Patty has also been inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame and was most recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Air Force Association.

 

another-tough-day-at-the-officeKari Castle: A three-time Hang Gliding World Champion, Hang Gliding and Paragliding National Champion, and multi world record holder in Women’s Hang Gliding, Kari is the first woman to qualify for the US National Hang Gliding Team. Kari still competes in Hang Gliding competition and leads clinics across the US including the 2014 Hang Gliding Spectacular here on the OBX.

 

 jennyJenny Hawk: The Outer Banks’ very own fearless female flyer, Jenny Hawk takes to the sky with her company, OBX Airplane, pulling banners, giving air tours, and teaching countless aspiring pilots, including Kitty Hawk Kites founder, John Harris, how to fly. Jenny has overcome tremendous adversities, but she continues to do the thing she loves and continues to inspire new pilots as they begin their aviation career.

 

 

These five woman are just a few of many, many impressive aviatrix… Who is your favorite female aviator? Share with us below!

A Great 2015-A Better 2016 on Tap

Scene from 2015 Hang Gliding Spectacular.

Scene from 2015 Hang Gliding Spectacular.

2015 was an amazing year on the Outer Banks and for Kitty Hawk Kites. We can’t thank all the wonderful customers who stopped by our stores and made it one of the best years we’ve ever had.

We’ve been adding new experiences—one of our favorites is the replica of the Wright Brothers 1902 glider that is available for flight. Pilots—check this one out. A living history adventure, we’re proud to offer this truly unique flight opportunity.

More new things we started dong this past year—Kitty Hawk Kites sponsored our first ever BrewTag, proving conclusively that beer kegs can fly . . . albeit not well. We are reserving judgment on how well beer can fly, though. After looking over the technical backgrounds of the entrants in the initial competition, there may be room for improvement over the current world BrewTag flight distance of 20’9”.

With Easter coming so early this year—March 27—our first big event is even earlier than usual. Our “Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza” is that weekend so be sure to check out all the fun.

We’re still finalizing some of the details on our event calendar, but here’s a good start on some of the amazing things we have scheduled for 2016.

Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza

KHKebunny

Mar 25, 2016 – Mar 26, 2016

Kitty Hawk Kites will be starting off the 2014 season with the annual “Fly into Spring & Easter Eggstravaganza!” Come join the Kitty Hawk Kites crew at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing to celebrate the start of a new season on the Outer Banks.

 

44th Annual Hang Gliding Spectacular

Coming in for a landing at the 2014 Hang Gliding Spectacular

May 13, 2016 – May 16, 2016

Kitty Hawk Kites is proud to announce the 2016 Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show! Join professional hang gliders, fans, and families at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for this Outer Banks tradition. This event is the longest running hang gliding competition in the world!

 

Rogallo Kite Festival

Life-sized blue whale kite in flight.

Jun 10, 2016 – Jun 12, 2016

Francis Rogallo was a NASA scientists and inventor of the flexible wing. His inventions started the sport of hang gliding and his designs have carried over into the stunt kites, power kites, and hang gliders that are flown today. We invite you to join us and raise a kite at the 33rd Annual Rogallo Kite Festival!

Outer Banks Pirate Festival

Slash, jab, parry. Instructions in pirate sword techniques.

Aug 10, 2016 – Aug 11, 2016

Get ready for a swashbucklin’ good time as Kitty Hawk Kites hosts the Outer Banks Pirate Festival. Pirates of the Outer Banks and their friends will be camped out at Jockey’s Ridge Crossing. Learn the vast history of pirates on the OBX, and participate in Scalawag school for the little ones to see if they have what it take to be a part of Blackbeards’ Crew!

BrewTag

First BrewTag launch of the day. The Kitty Hawk Kites glider established a new BrewTag world record of 20', soon to be shattered by Loonies on Tab.

October 22

Kegs will fly and everyone will have a great time. Enter your team early for the best chance to win. Or just spend the day hanging out and sampling some of the finest beer around and listening to great music.

Hangin’ With Santa/Kites With Lights

Santa Claus greeting a family at Kitty Hawk Kites.

November 25, 26

Look for Santa to stop by on Friday and Saturday with Kites with Lights filling the evening sky over Jockey’s Ridge State Park after sunset on Saturday. This is one of our oldest events and we really look forward to it every year.

A couple more events that we’re still putting the final touches on. We’ll keep you posted.

The Wright Kite Festival-Held every year at the Wright Brothers Memorial in July

Outer Banks Watermelon Festival-Games, music, food, and LOTS of watermelon. Tons of watermelon competitions including seed spitting. An August Event.

31st Annual Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition-A regional kite flying competition, organized by the Eastern League Sport Kite Association, features some of the top competitive kite fliers in the nation, as well as a massive display of show kites, stunt and power kite demonstrations and lessons, kite making activities for the kids. Usually in September

Hang Gliding Spectacular-It’s Just Fun

Kitty Hawk Kites President and founder, John Harris, launching from Jockey's Ridge on Saturday.

Kitty Hawk Kites President and founder, John Harris, launching from Jockey’s Ridge on Saturday.

You can never tell who is going to show up at the Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding Spectacular. Or perhaps better said—who’s going to fly.

The winds Saturday were strong, from the south and a little gusty. Over the past few years the best flying conditions have moved to the south face of Jockey’s Ridge, and there were a number of hang gliding pilots having some fun with what were good if challenging conditions.

And at the top of the ridge, there was company President and founder, John Harris, prepping gliders, holding the nose down as pilots strapped themselves in and talking wind conditions as pilots got ready to launch.

About the time pilots started leaving, was about the time John decided it was his turn—after all, he may have been the first person to fly a hang glider off the Nags Head dunes.  Forty-one years after he founded the company, John showed he still knows hang gliders. It was a beautiful flight . . . smooth, good distance and he stuck the landing.

“It’s just fun to get lifted off the ground and to be able to control the glider,” he said. “It brings back a lot of fond memories of flying.”

The Kitty Hawk Kites hang gliding school is the oldest and largest in the world, teaching from ages 4-92 how to fly. Really, that’s the ages they have taught to fly. It’s a great family memory and wonderful way to spend a day.