Who are the Ninety-nines?

THE NINETY-NINES, INC.®, is an international organization of licensed women pilots from 44 countries, currently there are thousands of members throughout the world. The International Headquarters is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Although there are other female pilot organizations in various states and nations, virtually all women of achievement in aviation have been or are members of The Ninety-Nines.

The organization was founded November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York. All 117 women pilots at the time were invited to assemble for mutual support, the advancement of aviation and to create a central office to keep files on women in aviation. Louise Thaden was elected Secretary and worked to keep the group together as they struggled to establish themselves and to grow. Those early purposes continue to guide the organization today.

First meeting of the Ninety-Nines at Curtiss Field, Long Island, NY, on November 2, 1929. Viola Gentry sits on the left in the front center row. Photo Credit: San Diego Air & Space Museum

In 1931, Amelia Earhart was elected the first President, and the group selected the name “Ninety-Nines” to represent the 99 charter members. Membership was immediately opened to other women as they became licensed pilots. In recent years membership has been opened to include women with student pilot certificates.

Today Ninety-Nines are professional pilots for airlines, industry and government; they are pilots who teach and pilots who fly for pleasure; they are pilots who are technicians and mechanics. But first and foremost, they are women who love to fly!

Learn more about the Ninety-Nines at https://www.ninety-nines.org/.

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