Amelia Earhart Namesake Completes Around-the-World Flight Famous Aviator Never Did

Pam WrightLife

Share this Post

Amelia Earhart, named after the famous, ill-fated aviator who died trying to circumnavigate the globe, has completed the same journey her namesake never did.

Earhart, 31, returned to Denver Friday — the same location where she started her journey 17 days earlier on June 25 — becoming the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine plane.

"I feel like it’s a part of me. It’s what I was born to do. And now, we did it. We finished the flight around the world,” Earhart told NBC’s Nightly News.

Earhart is no relation to the famous flyer, but has been inspired by her namesake, saying her a connection is “much stronger than a bloodline.”

“Not a day goes by that I am not asked if Amelia Earhart is my real name,” Earhart wrote on her website prior to the journey. “Each and every time I am asked, I’m honored to be able to say yes.”

The modern-day Amelia received her name when her parents decided it would be a “cool opportunity” to name her after the adventurous aviator when they learned they were having a girl.

Ten years ago, Earhart started flying and she hasn’t stopped since. It was in high school that the young pilot formulated the plan to follow in her namesake’s footsteps and embark on the journey.

It took about a year and a half for the television and radio reporter to plan her trip.

Earhart blew a kiss to friends and onlookers on the day of takeoff as she boarded the plane bound for Oakland, California, the city where her ambitious namesake began her own fatal journey.

"When I think about the feelings of opening up the hanger door on the morning of the flight and seeing the same view as Amelia saw — it's really special to me," she told Nightly News before takeoff.

Earhart and copilot Shane Jordan made 17 stops, flew 24,300 nautical miles and landed in 14 countries, including Brazil, Singapore and Tanzania.

The modern-day Amelia experienced a solemn moment as she flew over Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean — the site believed to be the location of the 1937 death of her namesake.

"I was trembling as we flew over. I’m fumbling with my cameras, trying to capture the moment. And I finally set everything down and just looked," Earhart told Nightly News. “I feel like we brought her home."

Earhart also serves as president of the Fly With Amelia Foundation, which provides education and scholarship opportunities to young women interested in aviation.

Image via Amelia Earhart, Twitter

Pam Wright