Pancho Barnes (1901 – 1975) is considered by many to be one of the 20th century’s greatest American characters. During her lifetime, Pancho (born Florence Leontine Lowe) was renown for her individuality, outsized personality, creativity, entrepreneurship, humor, generosity and integrity.
A legend in the aviation community, she was one of the first female pilots to be licensed in the United States, and one of the most respected pilots of the Golden Age of Flight.
She was a renowned stunt pilot, performing in several major films of both the silent and sound eras, including Howard Hughes’ influential 1930 epic Hell’s Angels. Pancho later founded one of the first unions in Hollywood, The Associated Motion Picture Pilots’ (AMPP), and she holds the distinction of being Lockheed’s first female test pilot.
Pancho became the “Fastest Woman on Earth” on August 4, 1930, when she beat the world’s speed record set by flying ace Amelia Earhart.
Source Cited: http://www.panchobarnes.com/biography.html