The Liberty Gazette
September 4, 2012Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Linda: Too often on Internet and television channels I’ve bumped in to those celebra-stories attempting to make news of “Where are they now?” Honestly, who cares, other than their personal friends and loved ones? National hero, Neil Armstrong’s life and accomplishments are far more significant to our present and future than are antics of geriatric rockers or drug addicted former child actors. Consider the lives that have been a true gift, from people such as Billy Graham, and Liberty’s own Jim Clemmons. From an aviation standpoint though, there are some folks who really stand out. For instance, Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh.
You probably heard the exciting news announced by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), concerning discovery of more evidence – stronger evidence – of Amelia’s lost plane, her Lockheed Electra. You might recall we’ve been following the search closely because our good friend, aviation archeologist and anthropologist Megan Lickliter-Mundon has been one of a select few chosen to participate in the search. A little over two weeks ago, August 17 to be exact, TIGHAR roared the news that their forensic imaging specialist, Jeff Glickman believed the high definition video taken during the group’s most recent trip in July showed pieces of man-made debris. TIGHAR President Ric Gillespie called it “a debris field in a place where there should be a debris field.” Maybe soon the 75-year old mystery will be solved. But that’s not so much where we’re going with this “Where are they now” question. That would be tacky. What we want to do is take a look at the heritage they left us, and the people who are carrying on.
In 1977 Amelia’s great-niece and namesake took up flying, saying, "On my first landing I couldn't help but think, 'This was how she felt.' I know how she felt when she first took the controls.” And now two generations later another of Amelia’s namesakes, a distant relative named Amelia Rose Earhart, is planning to circumnavigate the world in a more advanced aircraft, a Cirrus.
She wasn’t sure at first whether she’d even like flying, but after trying it out said, “I left my heart up there.” Now 29 years old, since completing that famous trip around the world won’t be enough, Amelia Rose is using her name and heritage to encourage others through a foundation that will not only teach people to fly, but equip them with so much more as a result. In our youthful bliss we tend to believe we can do anything we want, she says, “then something in high school switches and you’re told things you ‘need to do’ – especially for women. I want to make sure that magical time when believing that anything is possible isn’t lost.”
The life of this Denver journalist is shaping up quite interestingly. You can follow her blog at www.FlyWithAmelia.WordPress.com, in which the witty, wise, and poetic pilot posted, "I would say I feel lucky, but that would be a lie. I feel in control, smart and focused on completing this goal, enjoying each and every takeoff, landing, heading change and altimeter setting."
What would she say to the Amelia Earhart? “Blue skies and tailwinds, Amelia… you actually changed the world.”
Catch up with us next week when we take a look at Charles Lindbergh and those who followed in his contrails.