France: Maiden Flight

The passenger on the turboprop wheeling out to the runway at Paris' Orly Airport could hardly believe his eyes. As the cockpit door briefly opened, he had got a glimpse of the crew up front. There beside the pilot sat a good-looking blonde. It was Jacqueline Dubut's debut as France's first lady pilot on a scheduled airline.

Even before the flight—a 215-mile hop to Nantes—27-year-old Jacqueline was on her way to becoming a flying folk heroine. French newspapers endlessly told how the pretty pioneer,* charmed by the tales of Aviator-Author Antoine de St. Exupery, worked in a factory as...

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