HER STORY (page 2)
Bobbi saved all she could and accumulated $2,500. She had heard about
Burdett Fuller, who owned an airport on South Western Avenue in Los Angeles
where he operated Burdett Airlines, Inc., School of Aviation, offering
flying lessons for $250. Bobbi went to Burdett and proudly wrote a check
for her instruction. She was up at first light on New Year's Day 1928, excited and eager for her
first flying lesson.
During the time Bobbi was working on forced landings,
she was flying with a young flight instructor. He insisted on making a
three-quarter turn at too low an elevation, resulting in spinning in and
totaling the Jenny. Bobbi's mother rushed to the hospital after reading of
the accident in an article on the front page of the L.A. Times.
Bobbi never wavered or lost her love of flying, and on April 30, 1928 she soloed
and received her solo certificate. In the spring of 1928, Bobbi's mother
bought her an International K-6, a four-place biplane. Bobbi received her
pilot's identification card from the U.S. Department of Commerce on the
first day of September 1928. Bobbi soon began to look for business ventures
to fund her flying expenses. Her airplane, part of a May Company aviation
exhibit, was the most popular in the show. That exposure brought an offer
from the Sunset Oil Company to provide aircraft fuel and oil in exchange
for permission to paint its logo on the side of her airplane. She accepted.
That recognition brought another opportunity.
A short time later when she landed the Jenny after a flight, Bobbi saw a
man walking toward her. He was R.O. Bone, builder of the Golden Eagle
monoplane, and he needed a good pilot to show the Golden Eagle around the
country. Bone offered Bobbi $35 a week plus expenses--a dream come true.
She soon flew the Golden Eagle to a first-place finish in an air race at
the dedication of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport, now Van Nuys Airport.
Before dawn on January 2, 1929, Bobbi took the Golden Eagle on a flight
that was not to end until dark. Twelve hours and eleven minutes later she
brought the aircraft in for a smooth landing. At only 22, she had just set
a new solo endurance record for women, topping the previous record by four
hours and made her first night landing. Los Angeles newspapers' headlines
read: "AVIATRIX BREAKS WOMEN'S ENDURANCE FLIGHT MARK."
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