• Seven things you must know about aviator Jean Batten

    Today when you open your Google Search Engine you will find a dedicated Google-Doodle for Jane Gardner Batten. Today is the birthday of the most famous and popular aviator of New Zealand who proved to the world how a woman can achieve her dreams even after failure.

    Here are  a few things you must know about Jean Batten:

    -She was named Jane on birth on 15 September 1909 in Rotorua, but she soon became famous as Jean. How her name morphed is yet a mystery however some think it was all due to the reporting in newspapers about her in varied languages and accent.

    -Jean is famous for her May 1934 solo flight from England to Australia in the Gipsy Moth. Her trip of 14 days and 22 hours beat the existing England-to-Australia record of English aviator Amy Johnson by over four days.

    -More than the stories of her successful attempt the stories of her two failed attempts are what made more news. In her first attempt in April 1933 she hit two sandstorms before the engine failed, and wrecked the aircraft due to which she crash-landed near Karachi but survived without a scratch from it. In her second attempt in April 1934 she ran out of fuel at night on the outskirts of Rome and crash landed into a maze of radio masts but survived, her only injury being a severed lip.

    -One of her most remembered and praised flight was In October 1936 when she upped her game and made the first ever direct flight from England to New Zealand.

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    -In 1935 she set a world record flying from England to Brazil in the Percival Gull, for which she was presented the Order of the Southern Cross, the first person other than Royalty to be so honoured with this award.

    -In her homeland she was honoured with the title of “Daughter of the Skies” and was declared Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1936. That was a year of delight and awards for her as she was given the Cross of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour and also the Royal Aero Club’s Britannia Trophy for her excellent performance in aviation.

    -In 1938 she was awarded the medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale,  aviation’s highest honour and she was the first woman to receive the medal.

    Feature Image Credit: nzhistory.net.nz