Vagabonding Across America: Flight Route Fact Sheet
In 1928, Amelia Earhart completed a record-setting, round-trip flight across America, landing on grass airstrips and small-town main streets in 23 cities along the way. This September, Dr. Carlene Mendieta will re-create this historic flight, following Earhart’s 5,500 mile route as closely as possible – including visiting the same places, staying in the same hotels and even eating the same food. Following is an outline of Mendieta’s flight route and a preview of some of Mendieta’s re-enactment activities:
- Mendieta’s flight will begin at Westchester, N.Y. airport. She will fly from there to the airmail field in Bellefonte, Pa. for a quick stop and proceed on to Pittsburgh, Pa. where she will spend her first night.
- From Pittsburgh, Mendieta will fly to Dayton, Ohio and land at Wright Field, the site of the U.S. Air Force Museum. Mendieta will tour the museum, just as Earhart toured the Army hangers of the day in 1928, remarking in her journal on the magnificent aircraft she saw.
- Mendieta will proceed from Dayton to Terre Haute, Ind. and stop to have a "lunch of chicken dinner" just as Earhart did. She will continue on to the Army field at Belleville, Ill. where she will spend the night after having dinner and the country club and then on to the famous Hat Box Field in Muskogee, Okla. the next day.
- Then on to Fort Worth, Texas and Meacham Field, from which the first-ever passenger flight out of Texas departed just a few months prior to Earhart’s flight.
- After refueling in Fort Worth, Mendieta will head due west to Hobbs, N.M., where in 1928 – running out of light and unsure of her position – Earhart landed on the main street of the then six-month-old boomtown. Notes from Earhart’s flight journal reveal the following about this leg of the flight:
"About Sweetwater I struck some very bumpy air… I would be carried down for 500 feet with the nose of the plane up as far as I could put it without stalling… My map was torn from my knee and I couldn’t save it."
- After a breakfast of "fried eggs, honey and biscuits" in Hobbs, Carlene will be off to Pecos, Texas, where she hopes to have lunch with the Pecos Rotary Club as Earhart did. Note the following:
Earhart ended up staying in Pecos for a number of days. During her historic flight, she seems to have run across a few of the stops of the National Air Races, which were underway at the same time. As an honor to their distinguished guest, the Town of Pecos named Earhart as the town’s official judge at their stop along the air race route.
- From Pecos, it’s on to McNeal, Ariz., where the McNeal Ladies Aid Society will hopefully be available for lunch at the Taylor place with Mendieta.
- Next, Mendieta will stop in Tucson, Ariz. for about 40 minutes, then fly to Casa Grande, Ariz. and spend the night. She will rise bright and early the next morning and take off for Yuma, Ariz.
- Glendale, Calif. will be the last stop of Mendieta’s westward journey. She will stay in California for a week, possibly visiting the Los Angeles International Airport, as Earhart did to see the celebration at the end of the National Air Races.
- Then it’s back to New York via Las Vegas, Nev.; Tintic and Salt Lake City, Utah; Cheyenne, Wyo.; North Platte and Omaha, Neb.; Chicago, Ill.; Cleveland, Ohio; Bellefonte, Pa.; and finally home to Westchester County and Rye, N.Y.
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