Fly Girls: A Conversation with Keith O'Brien

In 1926, there were countless ways to die in an airplane. Propeller blades snapped and broke, and planes went down. Wings failed, folding backward or tearing away completely.

Control sticks got stuck, sending airships hurtling toward crowds or hangars. And all too often, engines just stopped in mid-flight, forcing pilots to scan the ground below for a farmer’s field or a cow pasture—anyplace where they might land in a hurry. “In such a crisis, there is no time to think,” said one early pilot. “You either automatically do the right thing or you die.”

Tonight, on a special midweek release for the 54th episode of the Chasing Earhart podcast and on the night of his book’s release, author and project guest Keith O’Brien joins us via Zoom right before the kick off of his tour to talk the lives and careers of aviation icons, Ruth Elder, Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Florence Klingensmith and Amelia Earhart. Individually, these women have some of the most incredible aviation stories of all time. They are legends, icons, and heroes. But collectively they are simply known…as Fly Girls.

From left to right, Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Ruth Elder, Florence Klingensmith & Amelia Earhart


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