• 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.

    achievement Noun

    accomplishment or successful completion of a task.

    channel Noun

    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.

    fog Noun

    clouds at ground level.

    Encyclopedic Entry: fog
    pilot Noun

    person who steers a ship or aircraft.

    visibility Noun

    the ability to see or be seen with the unaided eye. Also called visual range.