History of the Ninety-Nines

The Ninety-Nines, Inc., is the world’s largest and oldest organization of licensed women pilots. We are a non-profit, charitable organization with almost 5,000 members worldwide in 35 countries.

Canada has two Sections: East Canada with 148 members and West Canada with 70 members.

We are single, married, mothers, grandmothers, teenagers, weekend pilots, student pilots, professional pilots, flight instructors, FAA examiners. Many of us are doctors, artists, teachers, realtors, nurses, and business owners. We come from all walks of life. We are a very diverse, independent group of women, tightly linked by the shared love of flying!

About the Ninety-Nines History

“The women are going to organize. We don’t know what for,” reported a New York Times columnist about the first meeting of The Ninety-Nines on November 2, 1929, at Curtiss Field, Long Island, New York.

The Ninety-Nines, Incorporated was founded in 1929 to provide support and networking for women pilots. All 117 American female pilots had been invited to assemble for mutual support and the advancement of aviation.

FirstMeeting First Meeting of The Ninety-Nines, November 2, 1929

Those who attended the November meeting quickly decided that membership would be open to any woman with a pilot’s license, and the purpose was “good fellowship, jobs, and a central office and files on women in aviation.” Choosing a name was a little harder. Some offerings were The Climbing Vines, Noisy Birdwomen, Homing Pigeons and Gadflies. Amelia Earhart and Jean Davis Hoyt put a stop to the nonsense by proposing the name be taken from the total of charter members. Thus the group was momentarily the 86s, then the 97s and finally the 99s.

The name/number stopped at 99, but the membership thereafter grew worldwide.

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

In 1950 non-Americans were permitted to join the 99s and the Canadian Chapter was created.

Our Canadian chapters cover an area from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts and includes all types of pilots — from professional pilots who fly for airlines to recreational pilots who fly when time and money permit. Not all of our members are licensed pilots — yet! We have several student pilots in our group.

All of us value the support and friendships we have found with others who share the love of flying!

The Ninety-Nines have members in various Sections around the world.

TOTAL   4892

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