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Amelia Earhart was one of the most famous airplane pilots of all time.
She is famous for the impressive travels that she made in her airplane, for the stery surrounding her death, and for showing that women could perform great feats of aviation.
Amelia Earhart was born in the American state of Kansas, in the year 1897.
After graduating from high school, Earhart studied to become a nurse.
She worked as a military nurse in Canada during World War One, treating injured soldiers.
After the war, she returned to the United States, and became a social worker.
But in 1920 she saw airplanes in a stunt-flying exhibition, and early the next year she took her first ride in an airplane.
It was then that Amelia Earhart decided to become a pilot.
Within a few months, Earhart saved her money and bought a small airplane.
She flew frequently, and improved her skills as a pilot.
In 1928, she joined two men in a flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
But Amelia Earhart's greatest exploits were still to come.
In May 1932, she attempted to become the first woman to fly “solo,” or alone, across the Atlantic Ocean.
She flew east from the island of Newfoundland, and faced cold weather, high winds, and dense fog.
But she successfully crossed the ocean, and landed her airplane in a farmer's field in Ireland.
When news of her flight reached the United States, Amelia Earhart had become very famous.
Later flights by Amelia Earhart were equally impressive.
She became the first person to fly from Hawaii to California, across 4000 kilometres of the Pacific Ocean.
She also became the first person to fly from Mexico City to the New York City area.
But in 1937, she planned her most ambitious flight: a journey around the world.
On June 1st, 1937, Amelia Earhart took off from Miami, Florida.
She was accompanied by her navigator, Fred Noonan. They flew east, making stops along the way.
Within one month, they had flown across three-quarters of the globe, reaching the Pacific island of New Guinea.
On July 2nd, Earhart and Noonan took off from New Guinea, flying toward Howland Island.
This very small island was over 4000 kilometres from New Guinea, and was very difficult to find in the middle of the vast ocean.
During this flight, Earhart and Noonan were in radio contact with some ships from the U.S. Navy.
However, bad weather made it impossible to see the stars at night, so navigation was very difficult, and the plane became lost.
Earhart and Noonan never arrived at Howland Island.
The U.S. Navy undertook a massive search, but they never found the lost airplane.
Earhart and Noonan had been lost at sea.
Amelia Earhart's death was a great tragedy, but she had lived an exciting life that was full of achievements.
She had helped to show that very long flights could be made, and that women could perform feats of flying that were equal to those of men.
Even today, many people are inspired by the courage and endurance of Amelia Earhart.