Inspiring women since 1929, the 99’s are an international organization of women pilots who promote advancement of aviation through education, scholarships, and mutual support while honoring their unique history and shared passion for flight. Chapter members are professional pilots for airlines (industry and government) who contribute countless volunteer hours in mentorship and support of general aviation for all 99s members and potential members! Our chapter serves primarily the southern half of WI, providing support and camaraderie to women in all fields of aviation. 49 1/2’s welcome, too!
The Wisconsin chapter started in 1940, when Melba Beard lived in Madison. In early 1941 Milwaukee area women pilots organized an Eastern Wisconsin Chapter. During World War II many Wisconsin chapter members joined the WASPS, WACs, and WAVES; others joined the Civil Air Patrol. Ruth Harmon, Wisconsin’s first women airport operator (Kenosha) taught army and navy cadets to fly. Later, the two Wisconsin chapters merged to form the present day Wisconsin chapter.
In more recent history, Wisconsin members have delivered daffodils for the American Cancer Society, presented ‘Flying Companion Seminars,’ completed air marking projects, and given aviation presentations for schools and community groups. In addition, members participate in our annual June pancake breakfast in Watertown. Many women in aviation have been introduced to our organization by volunteers at the International 99s tent in Oshkosh each summer at AirVenture.
Scholarships, including the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship, have been making the dreams of flight a reality for women for more than seven decades. Help the Ninety-Nines spread the word about their mission and the opportunity to be awarded up to $10,000.