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Aviation Appreciation Friday: Jerrie Mock 🛩️👩‍✈️

Beyond the Horizon: Jerrie Mock's Unforgettable Solo Flight Around the Globe…

 

Jerrie Mock was a pioneering aviator who made history as the first woman to fly solo around the world. Born Geraldine Fredritz in 1925 in Ohio, Mock developed an early interest in aviation.

 

After graduating from high school, Jerrie attended Ohio State University, where she studied aeronautical engineering. However, she did not complete her degree due to her marriage to Russell Mock in 1945.

 

It wasn't until later in her life, as a wife and mother of three, that Mock's dream of flying resurfaced. In 1958, at the age of 32, she began taking flying lessons at a local airport in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Flying quickly became Mock's passion, and she became actively involved in the aviation community. In 1962, she purchased a single-engine Cessna 180 and named it the "Spirit of Columbus."

Photo Credit: airfactsjournal.com

 

But Mock's most significant accomplishment didn’t come until 1964 when she embarked on a solo flight around the world. She was inspired to make her journey around the world due to her passion for aviation, her adventurous spirit, and her desire to challenge herself.

 

Mock’s flight took nearly a month to complete, making stops in various countries along the way:

 

Departure from Columbus, Ohio: Jerrie Mock departed from Columbus, Ohio, on March 19, 1964, in her Cessna 180, "Spirit of Columbus."

 

Flight Route & Transatlantic Crossing: Her journey took her across the United States and then across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Mock made her first major leg of the journey by flying across the Atlantic Ocean. She made stops in the Azores and Portugal before continuing her journey.

 

European Stops: After crossing the Atlantic, Mock made several stops in Europe, including in Italy, Greece, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

 

Middle East & Asia: From Saudi Arabia, Mock flew across the Middle East and into Asia, making stops in Pakistan, India, and Thailand.

 

Pacific Crossing: One of the most challenging parts of her journey was crossing the Pacific Ocean. Mock made stops in the Philippines and Guam before heading towards Australia.

 

Australia & Pacific Islands: Mock made stops in Australia, Fiji, and Hawaii as she continued her journey across the Pacific.

 

Return to the United States: After completing her journey across the Pacific, Mock made her way back to the United States, making stops in California before finally returning to Columbus, Ohio.

 

Coming Full Circle: Jerrie Mock completed her solo flight around the world on April 17, 1964, when she landed back in Columbus, Ohio, after flying more than 23,000 miles.

 

She faced numerous challenges during her journey, including adverse weather conditions and mechanical issues with her aircraft. This map shows her journey around the world:

 Photo Credit: flightsim.com - The Columbus Foundation/Columbus Regional Airport Authority

 

Her achievement garnered widespread acclaim and earned her recognition as a trailblazer for women in aviation. Mock's courage, determination, and skill inspired countless others to pursue their dreams of flying.

 

Mock continued to be involved in aviation after her historic flight, advocating for women in the field and promoting aviation education. She passed away in 2014, at age 88, leaving behind a legacy of bravery and achievement in the world of aviation.

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