Richey, Helen

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Richey, Helen Gender: F
born on 21 November 1909 at 12:10 (= 12:10 PM )
Place McKeesport, Pennsylvania, 40n21, 79w52
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 28°46' s_mo.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 11°34 Asc.s_aqucol.18.gif 09°17'

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Helen Richey (1929)


American pioneering female aviator and the first woman to be hired as a pilot by a commercial airline in the United States. Richey also was the first woman sworn in to pilot air mail and one of the first female flight instructors.

In 1933 Richey partnered with another female pilot, Frances Marsalis, to set an endurance record by staying airborne for nearly 10 days, with midair refueling. In 1934 Richey won the premier air race at the first National Air Meet for women in Dayton, Ohio. Also in 1934, Central Airlines, a Greensburg, Pennsylvania–based carrier that eventually became part of United Airlines, hired Richey as a pilot; she made her first regular civil flight with them on 31 December, taking a Ford Trimotor on the Washington to Detroit route. She eventually was forced to step down from the cockpit by the all-male pilots union.

In May 1936, Helen Richey, flying a light plane, set an international altitude record for aircraft weighing under 200 kilograms (440 lb). She reached 18,448 feet (5,623 m) during a flight from Congressional Airport to Endless Caverns Airport in New Market, Virginia.

After leaving Central Airlines, Richey continued to perform at air shows. In 1936 she teamed with Amelia Earhart in a transcontinental air race, the Bendix Trophy Race. Richey and Earhart came in fifth, beating some all-male teams. Later, Richey flew with the British Air Transportation Auxiliary during World War II.

Richey died in her apartment in New York City on 7 January 1947, aged 37, apparently from a pill overdose. Her death was ruled a suicide.

Link to Wikipedia biography



Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth certificate.


  • Personal : Death : Suicide
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ commercial
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ military
  • Vocation : Travel : Pilot/ private
  • Notable : Famous : First in Field