Evelyn Bryan Johnson, who racked up more flying hours than any other woman and the second most flying hours of any pilot overall, died on May 10 at age 102 in Jefferson City, Tenn., according to press reports. A 2007 inductee of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Johnson amassed some 57,635 flying hours in the cockpit over the course of 55 years of flying as an aviation enthusiast and instructor pilot by the time she stopped flying at age 96, according to her New York Times obituary. Born in Corbin, Ky., on Nov. 4, 1909, Johnson began flying in 1944 as a hobby. She became a flight instructor in 1947 and certified more than 9,000 student pilots, earning the nickname “Mama Bird,” states her NAHF biography. She also became one of the first female helicopter pilots and was involved in the Civil Air Patrol. Among her many honors, she was the FAA’s flight instructor of the year in 1979. (See also NAHF announcement and Knoxville News Sentinel obituary.)
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.