Women in Aviation Day Bill Flies Through Oklahoma Senate
OKLAHOMA CITY – If the legislature wills it this session, Oklahoma Women in Aviation and Aerospace Day would be declared on December 9 annually in the state via SB 230 by Senator Paul Scott, Senate District 43 (Duncan-R). Scott debated the measure this past week when he presented his first floor bill in the Oklahoma Legislature.
December 9 marks the birth date of famous Oklahoma aviator Pearl Carter Scott, of Marlow, Oklahoma. After learning how to drive at the age of 12, Scott soared to new heights and learned to fly at the age of 13 under legendary aviator Wiley Post. She became the youngest pilot in the United States with her first solo flight on September 12, 1929. She later worked as a stunt pilot. Though Pearl Scott passed in 2005, a portrait of her was dedicated by the Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. to the House of Representatives in 2014 in her honor and memory.
Senator Scott agreed to carry the measure as a request bill from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). “Pearl Carter Scott was an inspiration to all women in and outside of aviation,” said Scott. “There are so many more women than Pearl who have made great strides in aviation and aerospace in our state, and I believe all female aviators and aerospace personnel should be recognized for their contributions,” Scott concluded.
Statistical data reports that in 1960, only one in 21,417 women held an “other-than-student” pilot certificate. By 1980, the ratio had become one in 4,224, the best representation of female pilots within the general population ever. Today, to have a chance to randomly meet a female pilot in the United States, you would have to meet 5,623 women. OAC hopes to significantly improve those numbers in Oklahoma.
“Establishing a women’s aviation day in Oklahoma will provide a platform for the state to encourage women of all ages to engage in aviation and perhaps choose an aerospace career,” said Sandra Shelton, public information officer and government affairs liaison for OAC.
There is no known relation between Senator Paul Scott and Pearl Carter Scott.
PHOTO: The painting of Pearl Carter Scott, donated to the state at non-tax-payer expense, hangs in the Oklahoma House of Representatives lounge in the State Capitol.