On April 16, 1912, American aviator Harriet Quimby became the first female pilot to fly across the English Channel. Quimby flew from Dover, England, to Hardelot, France. Despite the fog and poor visibility, and using only a compass to guide her, Quimby crossed the channel successfully in about an hour. She was widely celebrated for this accomplishment.Quimby was the second licensed female pilot in the world, and the first American. Unfortunately, her career ended abruptly only three months after her Channel-crossing triumph, due to technical difficulties encountered during a flying exhibition before the Boston Harvard Air Meet. Both Quimby and her passenger were killed in the crash over Dorchester Bay in Boston Harbor in July 1912. Quimby is remembered for her achievements as an aviator and a woman in a male-dominated field.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry abrupt Adjective
sudden or quickly changing.
accomplishment or successful completion of a task.
waterway between two relatively close land masses.
Encyclopedic Entry: channel compass Noun
instrument used to tell direction.
Encyclopedic Entry: compass encounter Verb
to meet, especially unexpectedly.
English Channel Noun
strip of the Atlantic Ocean between southeast England and northwest France.
clouds at ground level.
Encyclopedic Entry: fog pilot Noun
person who steers a ship or aircraft.
the ability to see or be seen with the unaided eye. Also called visual range.