Pheobe Omilie's First Jump


Pheobe Omilie's First Jump


Physical Culture Omlie, Phoebe letter


The letter discusses Phoebe Omlie's first jump and describes the testing procedure done before she took her first fall, noting that the only parachute jump she had ever seen was in pictures. She trained rigorously to learn how to walk out on the wing. The letter also shows her anticipation before her first jump and the emotions that played after. Fairgrave began wing walking, learned to hang below the plane by her teeth, parachute, and "dance the Charleston on the top wing". Using the stunts she had learned, Fairgrave claimed the record for the highest parachute jump for a female by jumping from her plane at 15,200 ft. Omlie began her career in the early 1920s when aviation was unregulated and open to those daring enough to take it on. In 1920 Omlie bought herself a Curtiss JN-4D airplane where she began learning how to fly and perform stunts with her husband. Her husband, Vernon C. Omlie played a big role in her accomplishments. In 1927, Phoebe became the first female to receive an airplane mechanic's license, as well as the first licensed female transport pilot.


MSS491 Box One Folder Four Preservations and Special Collections


University of Memphis Libraries


Digital Image © 2016, University of Memphis Libraries Preservation and Special Collections Department. All rights reserved.



“Pheobe Omilie's First Jump,” Making an Impact: The Lives of Tennessee Women, accessed January 17, 2020,

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