SEATTLE, Oct. 20, 2009
--Pilot and Amelia Earhart authority Debra Plymate will deliver a lecture about Amelia Earhart's life, her philosophy and her legacy. This Oct. 31 presentation is the first in a series of public programs in conjunction with the Museum's "In Search of Amelia Earhart" exhibit, which begins a six-month run on Oct. 24. "Amelia was extremely motivated and had an outstanding outlook on life," says Plymate. "Keeping her memory alive and sharing her inspiration is what matters most. Her disappearance was a heartbreaking tragedy of the sea, but the story of her life is a gift we can share forever." The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.
Native Oregonian Plymate grew up in an aviation family. She began her working life in California's Oakland Airport, where Earhart had departed for her world flight. Plymate learned to fly in 1974, and was a Federal Aviation Agency oceanic controller in the Pacific Ocean area, where radio communication was still difficult almost four decades after Amelia Earhart disappeared there.
Plymate studied celestial navigation and radio propagation during that time, and accomplished many flights over water. Her career was devoted to aviation safety, having been involved in search and rescue operations throughout the country. Plymate is now retired from the FAA.
Plymate has met Earhart's sister Muriel and several Earhart researchers. She has studied many theories about Earhart's last flight, and has interviewed some who have visited the locations Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were believed to have been after they disappeared. Plymate's goal is to inspire others with her own search to understand one of America's most famous woman pilot.
Image: Debra Plymate wearing her reproduction of Amelia Earhart's flying outfit. Courtesy Debra Plymate.