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Up-in-the-Air Lady  April 23, 1941
THE FIRST WOMAN to earn a soaring license was Mrs. Hattie Meyers Junkin of Garden City. If you don't know what soaring is, it's about the same as gliding, except that in a glider you come down if you're gliding. If you go up,^[[& stay up.]] that's soaring.
Mrs. Junkin is the attractive widow of one of America's very first pilots, George "Buck" Weaver, who founded the Waco aircraft [[strikethrough]] factory [[/strikethrough]]. She's got aviation in her blood, and she's apparently passed it on to Buck Weaver's son, for he's now an airplane draftsman out in Akron, Ohio. He [[strikethrough]] learned about planes [[/strikethrough]] [[right margin]] earned pilots license [[/right margin]] at Roosevelt Field. Mrs. Junkin's 14-year-old daughter, Janet Junkin, is a student at Cherry Valley High School, but she's not quite so air-minded, yet. Getting that way though, since her trip to the last national glider meet at Elmira.
Mrs. Junkin's interest in planes seems to go back to her early childhood. She confesses that one of her very first model planes, while it stayed aloft for a distance of 250 feet, finally cracked up and into and through the cellar window of her home in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. She was only about ten years old then.
She stuck to her passion for motor-less aircraft and when the first German glider experts came to Cape Cod and Bayside in 1930 to demonstrate what Germany had accomplished in the way of glider development, they found Mrs. Junkin right there to find out all about it and to learn what they had to teach. Germany developed gliding to a high degree because of the restrictions placed upon German aircraft production by the terms of the Versailles treaty. Buck Weaver had been a war pilot. Now his son is in a vital defense industry. The first man in to the world to be a licensed glider pilot was Wolfgang Klemperer, a German now working in this country. Another of the first German gliders was a man who was also one of Mrs. Junkin's instructors and who is now in Germany, one of their premier aces.
Hattie Meyers Junkin considers soaring exceedingly important as a preliminary step in the training of efficient pilots. She likes it for other reasons, too. She says she "gets perspective by going up and getting alone in the air, feeling the quietness and exhiliration of glider flying with its peacefulness and rythm." Maybe she's got something there.
Newsday L. S. U. Y.
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