|Formation||November 2, 1929|
|Founded at||Valley Stream, New York|
|Type||International Organization of Women Pilots|
|Headquarters||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Slogan||The New Generation of Women Pilots|
The Ninety-Nines: International Organization of Women Pilots, also known as 99s, is an international organization for female pilots that provides professional opportunities to women in aviation. The organization was founded on November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, New York, by 26 licensed women pilots for the mutual support and advancement of women pilots. Amelia Earhart had called for a meeting of female pilots in 1929 following the Women's Air Derby. All 117 women pilots licensed at the time were invited, and the group is named for the 99 of them who attended the meeting or expressed an interest in forming a group.
Charter members include:
- (president 1931–33)
Other notable members include:
- (president 1941–43)
- Eileen Collins
- Betty Gillies
- Linda M. Godwin
- Kathryn Hach-Darrow
- Nancy Hopkins
- Elvy Kalep
- Peggy Kelman
- Dot Lemon
- Elsie MacGill
- Anésia Pinheiro Machado
- Pamela Melroy
- Terry Neese
- Norah O'Neill
- Dorothy Rungeling
- Alan Russell
- Sheila Scott
- Katharine Stinson
- Jane Straughan
- Penny Thompson
- Bobbi Trout
- Hermelinda Urvina
- Patty Wagstaff
- Shannon Walker
- Nancy-Bird Walton
- Jessie E. Woods
- Edna Gardner Whyte
- (president 1955–57)
Charter member Margaret Thomas "Tommy" Warren believes she might have been the youngest charter member of the 99's — only 17 when she joined. She was not present at the first gathering of women aviators on Long Island in October 1929, but did go to New York with Frances Harrell for the second meeting on December 14 at the home of Opal Kunz and was appointed to represent Texas.
As of 2017, the organization has 5,159 members in thirty countries. The mission of the Ninety-Nines is to promote world fellowship through flight, to provide networking and scholarship opportunities for women and aviation education in the community, and to preserve the unique history of women in aviation. The Ninety-Nines, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The organization is divided into "sections" that are part of geographical areas covering several states in the U.S., provinces in Canada, and even countries. Chapters are the smallest grouping, falling under their geographical "sections".
The Ninety-Nines Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund (AEMSF) program assists in funding flight training for both recreational and career track female pilots by awarding a scholarship for an entire pilot certificate or rating to qualified members. The AEMSF "new Pilot Award" helps a woman aviator finish her Private Pilot training. In addition to the AEMSF program, many individual chapters of the Ninety-Nines give their own flight scholarships to benefit local woman aviators. Aspiring professional pilots can find career guidance and mentors in the Ninety-Nines "Professional Pilot Leadership Initiative" program.
Museums and Activities
The Ninety-Nines are owners and custodians of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas. The birthplace and early childhood home of early aviator Amelia Earhart was declared a National Historic Site and has been returned to its turn-of-the-century condition by the "99s" and features an abundance of personal and family memorabilia.
Their international headquarters building on Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is home to the 99s Museum of Women Pilots. Museum artifacts include historical papers, personal items, video and oral histories, photos, memorabilia and other notable artifacts from famed woman aviators from around the globe. The museum collection and exhibits provide insight into the role women pilots played in the development of aviation and their historical footprint.
Ninety-Nines members support the goals of the organization by being active in numerous aviation activities, including : aviation education seminars in the community, air racing, from the Powder Puff Derby to the Palms to Pines and the Air Race Classic; and airmarking by volunteering their time to paint airport names, compass rose symbols and other identifications on airports and the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA). Most regional and national NIFA competitions have "99s" on their panels of judges.
- Doris Abbate (Long Island Chapter Historian) (January 2005). "Where It All Began...". ninety-nines.org. 99 NEWS Magazine.
On November 2, 1929, 26 licensed women pilots flew, drove, took a train and walked here to Valley Stream, Long Island for that memorable meeting and their first photo in a hangar at Curtiss Field. Serving tea from a delicate teapot and cookies on a spare parts wagon were Fay Gillis Wells, in her helmet and flight suit, and Viola Gentry, with a bouquet of mums presented her as she left the hospital after a plane crash while attempting an endurance record.
- "Our History" Ninety-Nines website.
- "Charter members of the Ninety-Nines". Ninety Nines website.
- "Past Presidents of the Ninety-Nines". Ninety Nines website.
- 99s Charter Members
- Warren, Margaret "Tommy" (Jan–Feb 2002). "The Early Years". The Ninety-Nines. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- Cleary, Mary (2006). Separate Lives and Shared Legacies: Privilege and Hardships in the Lives of Twenty Women who Made a Difference. Undergraduate Review, 2, 184-202. Available at:
- Ninety-Nines : 25 Sections' & 154 Chapters' Websites
- Palms to Pines