Today in Aviation History: Has Amelia’s Plane been Found?
Contributor: Barry Fetzer
I have mentioned before in these historical aviation vignettes when writing about Amelia Earhart that my mom, like many girls of her age (mom was born in 1928 and is now gone), was a big fan of “America’s Sweetheart” as Amelia was known back then. Not only does my mom’s interest in her spark my own interest in Amelia, but Amelia’s life story, her aviation exploits, and the mystery of her disappearance also spark my interest.
Plus, as I’ve also mentioned before, I work as a line technician at Moore County Airport in Southern Pines (officially its address is in “Carthage” but, according to Wikipedia, the airport lies within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Whispering Pines, NC and is named “officially” “Pinehurst Regional”).
To add to the confusion, mixed with those pilots flying here who call “Moore County Traffic” on Unicom, many pilots transmitting on the airport’s Unicom frequency call it “Southern Pines” or “Pinehurst”, but they never call it “Carthage” or “Whispering Pines”. And Moore County’s airport identifier is KSOP, logically one might assume, is formed from the letters “SOuthern Pines or SOuthern Pines/Pinehurst”).
Anyway, I digress. My point is that, working at SOP, every duty day I’m honored to be walking in Amelia’s footsteps, impressed as they were on her arrival here in 1931, another reason for my interest in her. Here’s a couple of photos of Amelia at Knollwood Field (now Moore County Airport), walking on what is presently a blacktop and concrete ramp, but was then a dirt and grass field, plus a modern photo of the same hangar pictured in the historic photos. This hangar is planned to be relocated across the street and restored, a lasting legacy to the history of SOP and to Amelia Earhart.
Come visit us here if you care to soak up a little of Amelia’s “aura” and walk in her footsteps.
Courtesy of Moore County Airport (photo taken from a framed photograph in the FBO lobby by Barry Fetzer)
John Hemmer photo courtesy of Tufts Archives from a newspaper article. Lloyd Yost was the airfield manager when this photo was taken.
Photo of the historic hangar at Moore County Airport taken by Barry Fetzer
And now, one of America’s greatest mysteries—that of Amelia’s and her navigator Fred Noonan’s disappearance—may be solved.