Bessie Coleman – One of The Most Inspiring Pilots!

Bessie Coleman is one of the most inspiring women in the aviation industry. She was the first woman of African American and Native American descent to earn her pilot’s license in the USA and used her platform to inspire others to go after their dreams no matter what.

Bessie Coleman – Early Life

Bessie Coleman Portrait
National Air and Space Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bessie Coleman was born to sharecroppers in Atlanta, Texas, in 1892. As a young girl, she was unfortunately not allowed to attend the segregated, all-white school in her hometown, so she could only pursue education until the eighth grade. As a result of not having a high school education, most of her jobs were in domestic work.

Despite all these hardships, her resilience was remarkable. In her late teens, she moved to Chicago to live with her brothers, and it was here that her ambition to become a pilot first began. She started to ask people about the possibility of flying and how she could become a pilot despite the odds against her.

Due to racism, she soon realized that no aviation schools in the US would accept her since she was African American. But, this didn’t stop Bessie – and rightly so, as she saved enough money to travel to France to enrol in the famous Caudron Brothers School of Aviation, thus becoming the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license. After returning to the US, Bessie Coleman made history, becoming the first licensed black pilot.

Bessie Coleman – Aviaiton Career

Bessie Coleman and her plane
www.ctie.monash.edu.au, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bessie Coleman became a licensed pilot in 1921, making her the first black woman in the US to be awarded a license. She soon embarked on a successful career in aviation as the rise of aviation was booming at the time.

Bessie’s first aerial performance was at a Speedway in Texas, where she showcased her impressive aerobatics. She went on to perform across the US, becoming highly acclaimed and much sought after for exhibition shows.

She continued to be an inspiration and used her platform to advocate for improved safety standards in the aviation industry, as well as promote minority involvement in aeronautics. Despite facing difficult adversity while pursuing her dream, Bessie Coleman used her aviation career to empower many others, making her a true inspiration.

Why Bessie Coleman is an Inspiring Woman

Pilot Licence from France
Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Bessie Coleman is an inspiring woman who serves as one of the greatest role models for aspiring pilots. She faced extreme adversity to pursue her dream of becoming a pilot and never took no for an answer. Not only was she a black woman in a world of systemic racism, but she didn’t even have the education required to get a driver’s license for most planes. However, with hard work and determination, Bessie managed to save up enough money to travel to France and enrol in their aviation school, making her the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license.

She later returned to the US and became the first licensed black pilot in US history. Bessie remains an inspiration today, demonstrating that anything is possible with hard work and self-belief. She is a great example of not letting the odds stand in the way of achieving one’s goals, and she continues to be a source of inspiration for all women.

What are Bessie Colemans Biggest Achievements?

Bessie Coleman portrait
TradingCardsNPS, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What are Bessie Coleman’s biggest achievements? Bessie Coleman’s biggest achievements include becoming the first black woman to ever earn a pilot’s license in 1921, as well as the first licensed African American pilot in the US.

Moreover, she made history in 1922 when she became the first woman of any race to perform a “loop-de-loop” in an aeroplane.

However, one of Bessie’s biggest achievements is her relentless commitment to achieving her dreams and inspiring many others to pursue their ambitions, despite the challenges that they faced at the time – and her story is still relevant today.

How Did Bessie Coleman Die?

How did Bessie Coleman die? Unfortunately, Bessie Coleman tragically passed away from being ejected from her Curtiss JN-4 aircraft in 1926, aged just 34.

She had been performing at an exhibition show in Jacksonville, Florida and was preparing to take off for another aerobatic stunt when the fatal accident occurred. What makes it even more tragic is that her family and friends begged her not to fly the plane as they thought it wasn’t safe.

During the exhibition show, about 10 minutes into her flight, she was thrown out of the plane as the pilot, William D. Wills, unexpectedly lost control of the aircraft. Sadly, he also passed away when the plane plummeted to the ground.

It is believed that a wrench had gotten jammed in the plane’s controls when it was serviced, thus leading to the crash.

Her death left a major impact on the aviation world, as she remains a beacon of hope and determination for aspiring pilots today.

Bessie Coleman Facts:

1. Bessie Coleman spoke four languages, including English, French, Spanish, and her native language, Cherokee.

2. She was nearly blind in her left eye due to a childhood accident that occurred at the age of 6.

3. She was not afraid of getting her hands dirty, as she helped to service the planes she flew long before her aviation career began.

4. The first aeroplane that she flew was a Jenny, an open-cockpit plane with two wings.

5. Bessie Coleman only had one child, who sadly passed away at age 1.

6. Her favourite plane was a Curtis JN-4, an American-made biplane.

The air is the only place free from prejudices. I knew we had no aviators, neither men nor women, and I knew the Race needed to be represented along this most important line, so I thought it my duty to risk my life to learn aviation.

– Bessie Coleman

Hopefully, after reading this post, you’ve learnt more about what an inspiring woman Bessie Coleman was and still is today, even after her death. Do you know anything about Bessie Coleman that hasn’t been mentioned? Why do you believe Bessie Coleman is an inspiring woman? Let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section below! If you found this post interesting, then you might also like to check out these inspiring women also:

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