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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





April 16, 1912

Harriet Quimby Becomes the First Woman to
Fly an Airplane Across the English Channel

On this day in 1912, American aviator, Harriet Quimby, became the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel. Just the previous year she had become the first woman to earn her pilots license in the United States. Just three months later she met a tragic early death due to a freak accident when her and William Willard were circling an airfield during the Third Annual Boston Aviation Meet in Massachusetts. For some still unknown reason, at about 1,500 feet, the aircraft pitched forward, throwing both Willard and Quimby from their seats to their deaths. According to witnesses, the plane glided down riderless into the mud.