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Pilot Quiz - Firsts Before and After the Wrights

We in aviation usually think of the Wright Brothers as the first to fly. They were the first to fly a controllable, heavier-than-air vehicle. However, there were many other firsts before and after the Wrights. How many do you know?

1. The first free flight by humans was made by Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes in a balloon. Peak altitude was 500 feet and they traveled about 5½ miles in 20 minutes. When was this first flight?

a. 1783
b. 1801
c. 1860

2. Who was the first woman to fly in a balloon?

a. German actress Helga Schultz
b. American suffragette Mary Chandler
c. French opera singer Mme. Thible

3. The first parachute jump was made from a balloon from an altitude of 6,500 feet. In what year was that done?

a. 1797
b. 1806
c. 1848

4. The first around the world nonstop flight was made by a military aircraft with three in-flight refuelings. In what year was that flight?

a. 1933
b. 1939
c. 1949

5. Ruth Rowland Nichols was the first woman to become an airline pilot. In what year did she start?

a. 1932
b. 1942
c. 1952

6. When did the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean occur?

a. 1929
b. 1931
c. 1940

7. In what year did James Doolittle prove the feasibility of instrument-guided flying when he took off, flew, and landed relying entirely on instruments?

a. 1924
b. 1929
c. 1935

8. When was the United States mainland first bombed by an enemy aircraft?

a. Never
b. 1917
c. 1942

9. In 1988, the FAA retired its first aircraft registration number, never to use that number again. Who owned the aircraft with that retired number?

a. Amelia Earhart
b. Wiley Post
c. Charles Lindbergh

10. Dwight Eisenhower was the first President of the U.S. who was a pilot. Who was the first president to have flown in an aircraft?

a. Woodrow Wilson in 1917
b. Calvin Coolidge in 1928
c. Theodore Roosevelt in 1910

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