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Early Wright Exhibition Pilot - Instructor
First Licensed Woman Wright Pilot in the World
Third Licensed Woman Pilot in the United States

Katherine Stinson was born at Fort Payne, Alabama. She attended local schools and developed an early interest in music. She dreamed of a career as an accomplished pianist but was not financially able to have an advanced musical education. She read about the big prize money aviators were making and this seemed to be a way she might earn the means to further her musical education.

She started enthusiastically to investigate the possibilities of learning to fly, and made a balloon ascension with Lieutenant H. E. Honeywell at Kansas City, Missouri, on August 31, 1911. That fall she enrolled for a flying course at the Kansas City Flying School which folded up shortly after she became a student, so she went to St. Louis where she had her first plane ride with Tony Jannus in a Benoist plane at Kinloch Field on January 21, 1912. She then enrolled as a student but this did not work out so she went to Chicago in March to investigate schools there.

A small, frail girl there was general doubt as to her ability to ever handle a plane. The Mills School rejected her application, but later Max Lillie took her on as a student when he started his spring class at Cicero Field in May. Also in training were DeLloyd Thompson and Chance Vought. There was a small "Opening Day" meet at Cicero on May 30th and Katherine was a "student passenger" with Lillie on a flight over Chicago, landing at Grant Park, then flying back to Cicero later. She flew her tests for a license on July 16th and was granted Certificate No. 148 on July 24, 1912, on a Lillie-Wright.

Katherine continued her practice and went to Kinloch Field, St. Louis, Missouri, with the school when it moved there about October 1st. She practiced
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