Pioneering female pilot and Guinness world record holder Evelyn Bryan Johnson, 102, known as “Mama Bird,” died Thursday, according to a funeral home in Jefferson City, Tenn.
Mrs. Johnson, of Morristown, Tenn., started flying in 1944 and went on to run her own flying service and manage a small-town airport.
“I don’t care how many problems you have down on the ground, you forget about them” while flying,” the barely 5-foot-tall woman told the Associated Press in 2005.
Mrs. Johnson was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2007 after flying for 55 years and spending the equivalent of seven years in the air. She was estimated to have flown 5.5 million miles — equal to 23 trips to the moon — and never had a crash despite her share of mechanical troubles in the sky.