Spirit in the Sky
Columbus 21 Course 3 (Heisei 17) pg. 28-32
One evening May, 1932, a small plane took off from Canada. In the plane was just one woman. Her name was Amelia Earhart.
Her dream was to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean by herself. Of course, such a flight was difficult and very dangerous. The Atlantic Ocean was a very long way across, and the weather often changed quickly. But she was sure she could succeed.
The sun went down and the moon appeared. Then she saw that her altimeter didn't work. Even worse, she saw black clouds in the sky, and she soon found herself in a terrible storm. She decided to go above the clouds. But the air was too cold. Ice appeared on the wings.
She had to take the plane down to warmer air. The sea suddenly appeared just below the plane. The ice slowly went, but she had to keep flying very near the water. It was very difficult. Luckily, her strong hands were able to hold the controls for hour after hour.
Then she smelled gasoline. The gas tank was leaking! She knew that the plane could not fly for much longer. "But Europe must be very near now," she said to herself. "I must not give up!"
At last, she saw a small boat. Land was near! Finally, she managed to land the plane in a field in Ireland. A man walked toward her plane. "Hello," he said. "Have you come far?" "From America!" she answered.
Her time was the fastest of any flight across the Atlantic just 14 hours and 56 minutes.
After this, she continued to produce flying records one after another. Then, in 1937, she began the greatest challenge of her life: to be the first woman to fly around the world.
She set off on May 21 from California to Miami, then on to Brazil, Africa, the Middle East, India, Indonesia, Australia, and New Guinea. But somewhere between New Guinea and one of the Pacific islands, her radio messages stopped. She was never seen again.
What happened to Amelia Earhart? No one knows for sure. But her name lives on. "We must always keep trying," she said. "And if we fail, the failure must be a challenge to others."