When Emily Hanrahan bought her first ticket to fly on an airplane—a Douglas DC-3 flown by Frontier Airlines from Denver to Gunnison, Colorado—she thought she might be interested in becoming a stewardess. It was 1959, after all. After a second trip aloft, her flight back to Denver—invited up to the cockpit by the pilots on that empty flight—she knew she wanted to fly up front. “I went forward into the cockpit, and I was just floored at what I saw,” she said in a 2009 interview. “It just grabbed me; we were just coming over the mountains.” When she asked if a “girl” could take lessons, the affirmative answer took her to Clinton Aviation, at Stapleton Airport, where she would eventually become a flight instructor, and a pilot examiner.