Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Evelyn “Mama Bird” Bryan Johnson

Pilot & Recordbreaker

Born: November 4, 1909 in Corbin, Kentucky
Death: May 10, 2012
Enshrined: 2007

Earned her private pilot certificate in 1945, added a commercial certificate in 1946, became a flight instructor in 1947, and was later named a designated FAA examiner in 1952.

Became one of the first female helicopter pilots and was involved in the Civil Air Patrol.

Owned a fixed-base operation, Morristown Flying Service, for 33 years.

Served on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission for 18 years and was chairman for four of those years. She also helped allocate state and FAA block grant funds for airport improvement projects throughout the state.

Participated in Powder Puff Derbies from 1951 to 1954, and again in 1960.

Flew in an international women’s air race from Washington to Havana, Cuba.

Was the FAA’s Flight Instructor of the Year in 1979, has been inducted into the Women in Aviation Pioneers Hall of Fame, the National Flight Instructors Hall of Fame, the Kentucky and Tennessee Aviation Halls of Fame, and the Hamblen County Woman Hall of Fame in Morristown.

Holds the record for the most flight hours of any woman at 57,635.4 hours.

Administered over 9,000 checkrides.

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