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Linda Finch is a seasoned pilot and aviation historian with more than 21 years' experience in the acquisition, restoration, maintenance, and flying of historic aircraft. Recently she completed her World Flight 1997 recreation of Amelia Earhart's around-the-world flight.
This photograph of Linda Finch's Electra 10-E was taken in July, 1997, by a contributor to our site. The photo was taken at the Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport when Linda Finch paid a visit to Earhart's hometown, Atchison, KS, during her re-creation of Earhart's final flight in 1937.
That re-creation of the ill-fated Earhart fight began in Oakland, California, on March 17, 1997 in a rare 1935 Lockheed Electra 10E. This airplane was completely rebuilt by Ms. Finch with the help of Pratt and Whitney, who provided the missing wings, engines, instruments and funded the overall project. To insure that her plane did not suffer a similar fate as Amelia Earhart's, Linda Finch's Electra was outfitted with Global Positioning System navigation equipment. Her Electra was modified to carry 1800 gallons of fuel compared to Earhart's Electra that carried only 800 gallons* of fuel. This was to insure that she would arrive at her destination as she island hopped across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Finch flew 8- to 12-hour legs during her ten week odyssey.
During her early 20s, Ms. Finch decided that she wanted to learn to fly a World War II Corsair. She took lessons whenever she could afford them and obtained her pilot's license at the age of 29. As her love for flying grew, she restored six vintage aircraft, joined the Confederate Air Force association and worked with its fliers to help sharpen her flying skills. One of them made her land a P-47 numerous times without power so she could learn how the plane would handle in emergencies.
Ms. Finch has logged more than 8,000 flying hours, 5,900 in multi-engine aircraft, vintage, warbirds, and tail draggers; and has flown in air shows for more than 10 years. Ms. Finch has served as a pilot and the head coordinator for the fund-raising, restoration and marketing of the rare Confederate Air Force P-47 Thunderbolt airplane (one of only five flying). Today she serves as the primary sponsor of the P-47, providing regular maintenance for this rare and valuable aircraft. She has also completely restored, modified, and raced an historic AT-6 World War II trainer.
Finch believes Amelia Earhart's courage, heroism, and limitless vision are powerful inspirations for people of all ages, especially young people. As part of World Flight 1997, she and her team developed a comprehensive educational outreach program that is expected to reach millions of at-risk and minority middle school students and their teachers across the nation.
From Civil Air Patrol News, Vol. 29, No. 6, June, 1997: pg. 18 and supplemented
by other sources.
* This fact seems to be incorrect. In several other sources, the size of the fuel tanks in Earhart's Electra had a capacity of over 1200 gallons
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