Amelia Earhart Facts & Worksheets

Amelia Earhart facts and information plus worksheet packs and fact file. Includes 5 activities aimed at students 11-14 years old (KS3) & 5 activities aimed at students 14-16 years old (GCSE). Great for home study or to use within the classroom environment.

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    • Early life of Amelia Earhart
    • Aviation Career
    • World Flight in 1937
    • Theories regarding Amelia Earhart’s Disappearance
    • Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence

    Key Facts And Information

    Let’s find out more about Amelia Earhart!

    Amelia Earhart

    Amelia Earhart was an American aviator and author who set many records was one of the first to promote commercial air travel, wrote best-selling books about her experiences, and was part of the organisation for female pilots, The Ninety-Nines. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and from Hawaii to the US mainland. In July 1937, Earhart vanished somewhere over the Pacific while attempting to go around the world. Her plane wreckage was never discovered, and she was proclaimed missing at sea. Her disappearance remains one of the century’s biggest unresolved mysteries.

    Early Life

    • Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, on 24 July 1897. Earhart spent most of her early life with her maternal grandparents, who lived in an upper-middle-class home. Amelia ‘Amy’ Otis, Earhart’s mother, married a promising young man who could never break free from the shackles of alcoholism. 
    • Edwin Earhart was always looking for ways to advance his profession and provide a stable financial foundation for his family. Amy would take Earhart and her sister Muriel to their grandparents’ house when things got ugly. They went exploring the area, climbing trees, searching for rats, and riding on Earhart’s sled.
    • From an early age, Amelia Earhart defied traditional gender roles, was a basketball player who also completed an auto repair course, and attended college for a short time. The Earhart children seemed to have a sense of adventure, as they headed out every day to explore their surroundings. 
    • Earhart spent her childhood days climbing trees, catching rats with a gun, and ‘belly-slamming’ her sled downhill with her sister Pidge. Despite the fact that many children enjoyed the outdoors and ‘rough-and-tumble’ play, some biographers have labelled Amelia a tomboy.
    • Sisters Amelia and Muriel stayed with their grandparents in Atchison when their parents moved to smaller quarters in Des Moines. The Earhart daughters were homeschooled by their mother and governess at the time. Amelia subsequently said she was “exceedingly fond of reading” and spent many hours in the family’s big library. The Earhart children were enrolled in public school for the first time in 1909, when the family was finally reunited in Des Moines, and Amelia, 12, entered seventh grade.

    Aviation Career

    • In her brief career, Amelia Earhart accomplished a lot of aviation records. In 1922, she set a world record by being the first woman to fly solo above 14,000 feet.
    • She served as a Red Cross nurse’s assistant in Toronto, Canada, during World War I. While in Toronto, Earhart began spending time observing Royal Flying Corps pilots practise at a local airfield. 
    • Earhart and Snook

      She returned to the United States after the war and enrolled as a pre-med student at Columbia University in New York. In December 1920, Earhart had her first aviation trip in California with renowned World War I pilot Frank Hawks, and she was hooked for life. 

    • She began flying training with female aviation instructor Neta Snook in January 1921. Earhart worked as a filing clerk at the Los Angeles Telephone Company to help pay for her training. She bought her first airplane, a used Kinner Airster, later that year. The yellow plane was dubbed ‘the Canary’ by herself.
    • In December 1921, Earhart passed her flight test and received her National Aeronautics Association licence. She flew in her first flying exhibition two days later at the Sierra Airdrome in Pasadena, California.
    • In 1932, Earhart became the first woman (and second person after Charles Lindbergh) to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo. She flew out from Newfoundland, Canada, on 20 May in a red Lockheed Vega 5B and landed in a cow pasture near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, the next day. 
    • She was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross when she returned to the United States. It is a military medal bestowed for “heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight”.
    • Later that year, Earhart flew solo and non-stop across the United States for the first time. She flew out from Los Angeles and arrived in Newark, New Jersey, 19 hours later. She was also the first person to fly alone from Hawaii to the mainland of the United States in 1935.

    World Flight in 1935

    • In 1935, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University, where she advised women on careers and served as a technical adviser to the Department of Aeronautics. In 1936, Earhart began preparing a round-the-world journey. Despite the fact that others have flown around the world, her voyage, at 29,000 miles (47,000 kilometres), would be the longest since it followed a roughly equatorial route.
    • Earhart and her crew flew the first leg from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, on 17 March 1937. Harry Manning and Mantz (who was working as Earhart’s technical adviser) were also on board, in addition to Earhart and Noonan. 
    • The aircraft needed to be serviced in Hawaii due to lubrication and galling issues with the variable pitch devices in the propeller hubs. 
    • The Electra eventually landed at the US Navy’s Luke Field on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. 
    • Earhart, Noonan and Manning were on board when the trip continued three days later from Luke Field. 
    • The following stop was Howland Island, a tiny Pacific island. Manning, the island’s lone skilled radio operator, had devised a plan to locate the island via radio direction findings. 
    • The plane never took off from Luke Field. During the takeoff run, the forward landing gear disintegrated, both propellers collided with the ground, the plane skidded on its belly, and a section of the runway was destroyed. 
    • The cause of the ground-loop is a subject of debate. A tyre blew, according to some witnesses at Luke Field, including an Associated Press writer. 
    • Earhart believed the Electra’s right landing gear had disintegrated and/or the right tyre had blown out. Pilot mistake was noted by certain publications, including Mantz. 
    • The flight was cancelled due to the aircraft’s serious damage, and it was sent by sea to the Lockheed Burbank factory for repairs.
    • Earhart and Putnam gathered extra finances and prepared for a second attempt while the Electra was being repaired. 
    • The second effort, this time travelling from west to east, began with an unpublicised voyage from Oakland to Miami, Florida, when Earhart officially revealed her plans to circumnavigate the world. 
    • Changes in global wind and weather patterns along the projected route since the previous attempt contributed to the flight’s opposite direction.

      Mantz, Earhart, Manning and Noonan
    • Fred Noonan was Earhart’s lone crew member on this second journey. 
    • The two left Miami on 1 June and landed at Lae, New Guinea, on 29 June 1937 after making multiple stops throughout South America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. 
    • The voyage had been accomplished for around 22,000 miles (35,000 kilometres) at this point. The last 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometres) will be across the Pacific.

    Theories of her disappearance

    • Since her disappearance, a number of theories have emerged about Earhart’s final days, many of which have been linked to items discovered on Pacific islands. 
    • One theory is that Earhart and Noonan’s plane was abandoned or crashed at sea, and the two drowned. 
    • Several aviation and navigation experts agree with this theory, concluding that the last leg of the flight was a result of “poor planning, worse execution”. 
    • Investigations determined that the Electra aircraft was not fully fuelled and could not have made it to Howland Island even if conditions were perfect. 
    • Investigators concluded that the plane simply ran out of fuel 35 to 100 miles off the coast of Howland Island due to the numerous faults that caused difficulty.
    • Another theory is that Earhart and Noonan flew without transmitting for some time after their final radio communication, landing on uninhabited Nikumaroro reef, a little island 350 miles southeast of Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. 
    • They would perish on this island in the end. This notion is supported by evidence found on-site, including makeshift tools, clothes, an aluminum panel and a piece of Plexiglas with the identical dimension and shape of an Electra window. 
    • In May 2012, scientists discovered a jar of freckle cream near their other finds on a remote island in the South Pacific, which many think belonged to Amelia Earhart.

    Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence

    • Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence was a HISTORY investigative programme that aired in July 2017 and looked into the importance of a photograph uncovered in the National Archives by a retired federal agent. 
    • The shot, which has sparked yet another idea regarding Earhart’s disappearance, was allegedly taken by a spy on Jaluit Island and has been discovered to be untouched. 
    • According to a facial-recognition specialist interviewed for the HISTORY special, the lady and man in the photo are good fits for Earhart and Noonan (the male figure had Noonan’s hairline). 
    • In addition, a ship is observed dragging an item that matches Earhart’s plane’s specifications. 
    • If Earhart and Noonan had landed there, the Japanese ship Koshu Maru would have been in the region and might have transported them and the plane to Jaluit before transporting them to Saipan as captives.
    • This hypothesis has been questioned by certain experts. The photo was “silly”, according to Earhart expert Richard Gillespie, who leads The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has been investigating Earhart’s disappearance since the 1980s. 
    • TIGHAR believes Earhart and Noonan landed on Nikumaroro’s reef and lived as castaways before dying on the atoll. 
    • A Japanese military blogger discovered the identical photo in a Japanese-language travelogue kept at Japan’s national library in July 2017, according to another piece in The Guardian. 
    • The photo was published in 1935, two years before Earhart’s disappearance. 
    • The National Archives’ communications director told NPR that the archives don’t know the photograph’s date or photographer.