Amelia Earhart

Here's a look back at the trailblazing aviator.

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart and her instructor Neta Snook **in front of Earhart's bright yellow Kinner Airster biplane in 1921. After a 10 minute flight in December 1920, Earhart was determined to learn to fly.
**
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart in front of her Lockheed Vega, "Old Bessy" in 1935. She had been awarded the 16th pilot's license ever issued to a woman little more than a decade prior.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Among her many record breaking flights, Amelia Earhart made the first solo flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California, as well as the first nonstop flight from Mexico City to New York.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
In 1936, Amelia Earhart began preparations for her around-the-world flight attempt.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
To that end, a special Lockheed Electra 10E was built and modified specifically for the trip.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
The aircraft was modified to hold an exceptionally large fuel tank for the journey - which was planned to be the world's longest attempt, covering some 29,000 miles.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Experienced navigator Fred Noonan was selected to accompany Amelia Earhart on the trip.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
The pair departed from Oakland, California, for their first leg of the flight on St. Patrick's day in 1937.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
After taking off from Hawaii for the second leg of the flight, Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra suffered severe damage, resulting in a cancellation of the flight attempt.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan soon embarked on a second attempt, however, this time heading west to east.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Beginning in California, the journey took them to South America, Africa and South East Asia.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
By the time they made it to New Guinea, they had covered 22,000 miles, well over more than half the trip.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
On July 2, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan took off in pursuit of Howland Island. They never made it to their destination however, and their last known position was over the Nukumanu Islands.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Theories surrounding their disappearance continue today, with the predominant belief being that the Electra ran out of fuel and Earhart and Noonan attempted to ditch the aircraft at sea.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Another group, however, is exploring the theory that the pair made an emergency landing near the islando of Nikumaroro and maintained a castaway presence there for some time.
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Read more on that theory and other developments surrounding the search for Amelia Earhart here.