We all know by now that Harriet Quimbly is credited with being the first woman to receive her pilot’s certificate in 1911 but does anyone ever remember #2 of anything? Mike Williams sent me the link to the 2nd woman to receive her pilots certificate, Matilde E. Moisant, because he knew I’d be interested in her Indiana connection.
Born in 1878 in Indiana (let that soak in —- 1878) Moisant learned to fly at Alfred’s Moisant Aviation School on Long Island, New York. In 1911, a few weeks after her friend Harriet Quimby received her pilot’s certificate, Matilde Moisant became the second woman pilot certified by the Aero Club of America.
She pursued a career in exhibition flying. In September 1911, she flew in the air show at Nassau Boulevard airfield in Garden City, New York and, while competing against HÃ©lÃ¨ne Dutrieu, Moisant broke the women’s altitude world record and won the Rodman-Wanamaker trophy by flying to 1,200′. (100 Years laterÂ I can hit that in my S7 by the end of the runway on a cold day!)
Moisant stopped flying on April 14, 1912 in Wichita Falls, Texas when her plane crashed (the same day that the Titanic sank). Less than two months later, her friend Harriet Quimby was killed when she fell from her plane.
Although Moisant recovered from her injuries, she gave up flying and moved to the family plantation in San Salvador.