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Winifred Evelyn Spooner
Born 1900
Wokingham, Berkshire, England
Died 13 January 1933
Wokingham, Berkshire
Nationality British
Occupation Aviator

Winifred Evelyn Spooner (September 1900 – 13 January 1933)[1] was an English aviatrix of the 1920s and 1930s, and the winner of the Harmon Trophy as the world's outstanding aviatrix of 1929. She died aged 33 from pneumonia.

Winifred Spooner was born and raised at "The Polo Farm" near Wokingham, Berkshireand attended Sherborne Girls in Dorset.

In 1927 she became only the 16th woman to receive a pilot's licence[2], and then she became active competitor in sports aviation.

In 1928 she took the 3rd place in the seventh King's Cup Race and won the Siddeley Trophy as the first Aeroplane Club aviator to cross the line.

In 1929 she finished fifth in the King's Cup Race, and won the Harmon Trophy as the world's outstanding aviatrix. She also took 10th place in the International Tourist Plane Contests Challenge.

In 1930 she was a member of the British team at the International Tourist Plane Contest Challenge 1930 between 16 July and 8 August in Berlin, Germany, finishing seventh overall in her De Havilland Gipsy Moth

On 5 December 1930, accompanied by Captain Edwards, she set out to prove that South Africa could be reached within 5 days by flying day and night. Unfortunately after 16 hours a mechanical breakdown forced them to ditch into the sea in complete darkness, 2 miles (3 kilometers) off the coast of Belmonte Calabro, Italy, whereby she had to swim ashore "6 strokes at a time". She then alerted local fishermen who set out to rescue Captain Edwards and the plane. [3] [4] [5]

She participated in three out of four F.A.I - International Tourist Plane Contests - Challenge 1929, Challenge 1930, Challenge 1932, as one of only two women; being one of top contestants and taking the 10th place in 1929 and 4th place in 1930.

In 1931, she took the fifth place in the King's Cup Race and became the first British woman to earn her living as a private owner's personal pilot flying air racer and MP, Sir William Lindsay Everard, all over Britain, Europe, Turkey and the Middle East[6].

She is reported to have crashed a plane in Cleator Moor in Cumberland, UK. The date is unknown but the plane was taken to the Mill Yard, and Spooner is reported to have suffered no more than tattered stockings.


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