Vicki Van Meter
|Vicki Van Meter|
Vicki Van Meter, 11, leaving on her cross-country flight on September 20, 1993.
|Born||Victoria Louise Van Meter
March 13, 1982
Meadville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||March 15, 2008
Meadville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Cause of death
|Suicide by gunshot|
|Residence||Meadville, Pennsylvania, U.S. (1982–2008)|
|Alma mater||Edinboro University of Pennsylvania|
|Known for||Long-distance flying as a young pilot|
|Parents||Corinne Van Meter
James Van Meter
|Relatives||Brother: Daniel Van Meter
Sister: Elizabeth Van Meter
Victoria Louise "Vicki" Van Meter (March 13, 1982 – March 15, 2008) was an American aviator. She was known for setting several "youngest pilot" distance-flying records. At the age of 11, she was the youngest "pilot" to fly east to west across the continental United States of America, and the youngest female pilot to cross in either direction.
Van Meter first manipulated the controls of an airplane at the age of 10. On September 20, 1993, at the age of 11, she made headlines when she flew from Augusta, Maine to San Diego, California in a Cessna 172. A year later she flew a Cessna 210 over the Atlantic Ocean to Scotland. After her flights, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and visited the White House.
Because of the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996, signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 9, 1996, after the death of Jessica Dubroff, it is no longer legal in the United States (under 49 USC § 44724) to attempt to set records as a student pilot, which effectively means that some of the records set by Van Meter will never be broken.
Van Meter served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova after graduating from Edinboro University with a degree in criminal justice. She worked as an insurance company investigator and had made plans to pursue graduate studies.
Van Meter died at her home in Meadville, Pennsylvania on March 15, 2008, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, at the age of 26. Her suicide surprised her family who believed she had been coping with her depression.
- Plushnick-Masti, Ramit (2008-03-18). "Record-setting young pilot dies at 26". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "Against the Wind, Girl Is Trying to Fly From Coast to Coast". The New York Times. 1993-09-21. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "Aerial Sports: The year in review". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1993. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
- The History and Physics of Flight, Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics p. 7 . Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- Lawson, Carol (April 28, 1994). "At Home With: Vicki Van Meter; Apple Pie And Afterburners". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- Walsh, Lawrence (1994-07-05). "Pilot, age 12, takes off today to cross the sea". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "Pilot who flew cross-country at age 11 commits suicide". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. 2008-03-18. Archived from the original on March 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- Van Meter, Vicki (1995). Taking Flight: My Story By Vicki Van Meter. Viking Juvenile. p. 96. ISBN 0-670-86260-6.
- "Noted pilot Vicki Van Meter dies". The Meadville Tribune. 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "Woman Aviators Exhibit to Open at Wright Brothers National Memorial". First Flight Centennial. 2003-12-03. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- *Russo, Carolyn (April 1997). Women and Flight: Portrait of Contemporary Women Pilots. United States: Bulfinch Press. p. 192. ISBN 0-8212-2168-X.
- "H.R. 3539 [104th]: Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
- Carroll, Jim (2008-03-18). "Ex-child pilot Van Meter dies at home". Erie Times-News. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- Van Meter, Vicki; Dan Gutman (1995). Taking Flight: My Story. United States: Penguin Group. p. 96. ISBN 0-670-86260-6.
- "Young Pilot Passes After Apparent Suicide". Aero News. March 20, 2008.
- Vicki Van Meter at Find a Grave
- Vicki Van Meter at the Internet Movie Database
- Vicki Van Meter at the Notable Names Database
- Victoria L. Van Meter, The Meadville Tribune, local newspaper obituary, retrieved 2008-03-19
- Official website