Berta Zeron (1924-2000)
Berta Zeron was the first woman in Mexico to earn a commercial pilot's license and the first woman to pilot a jet airplane. She logged over 10,000 hours flight time. You might say she was Mexico's Amelia Earhart.
Berta Zeron was born in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, but learned to speak English at the age of eleven in Hawaii where her father had enrolled her in school for two years. On the return voyage home by ship, she discovered an airplane on board that had been flown by Amelia Earhart. The memory stuck with her and later became her inspiration to fly.
Berta finished high school in Mexico, and being bilingual, found jobs with different companies, one at the Benito Juarez International Airport. An airline pilot offered her a ride but she turned the offer down, a choice that bothered her a lot later. More jobs would follow and several years would pass before she could seriously consider becoming a pilot. In 1947 she applied for a permit to fly and had her first official flight, but it would be 1964 before soloing in a Cessna 170. With the owner Capitan Francisco Lopez's support, lessons were 100 pesos an hour and apparently, affordable. (Cost is a common drawback to getting a pilot's license, even today). Berta received her private pilot's license in 1965 and logged 200 hours in Lopez's plane that same year.
|Berta and the Cessna 170|
|A Beechcraft Baron 55|
|A PT-17 Stearman|
|The Cessna 150 - Berta taught others how to fly.|
|The Mooney. Plane flown in Powder Puff Derby|
|The Commander Lark|
|The Commander Shrike Twins|
|The Douglas DC-3|
|The Beechcraft Twin Bonanza|
|Turbo Commander 680 (and Turbo Commander 681)|
(only source found in English)
Still swimming everyone?
You made it through the April A-Z Challenge!!!
As this is my final post in the series, I want to say THANK YOU TO EVERYONE from the bottom of my heart for stopping by to read Pioneer Women in Aviation, even if you could only read one or two posts (I know that most were l-o-n-g).
I leave you with a song by Eizaveta Icarus from the Miss Todd film soundtrack (a story based on the life of E. Lillian Todd). If you missed Miss Todd, you can click on "T for E. Lillian Todd" to watch (13min). The film is delightful and won the 2013 Academy Awards Gold Medal for best foreign film.
Bye for now......