Wednesday, February 09, 2011


Celebrate Women’s History Month! THURSDAY, MARCH 10TH,7:00 P.M. A charismatic figure immortalized in Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff, FLORENCE “PANCHO” BARNES was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless pilot, Pancho flew on Amelia Earhart's wingtip, performed as a barnstormer throughout California, and made a name for herself as Hollywood's first female stunt pilot in the 1920's and 30's. Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous -- some would say notorious -- hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Known as the 'Happy Bottom Riding Club,' it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. Pancho has become a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated, but whose story is largely unknown. Until now. After the screening of the film, producer NICK SPARK will be on hand to answer questions and enhance your appreciation of this dynamic aviation pioneer named Pancho. A filmmaker and writer with a keen interest in history, Nick is a former contributing editor to Wings, a bi-monthly aviation history magazine with national circulation. His articles have appeared in Naval History, the Annals of Improbable Research, the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings and Naval History. He has appeared on National Public Radio and other media outlets domestic and abroad concerning his historical research. In 2005 the American Aviation Historical Society presented him with its Author’s Award for his article, “Secrets of the Spirit.” Seats are limited and reservations are strongly urged: (626) 300-0777 ext. 579.