About The Ventura County 99s
The Ventura County Ninety-Nines, based in southern California, is part of the Southwest Section of The Ninety-Nines, Inc., a nonprofit international organization of more than 5,000 women pilots. In 1973, the Chapter was founded by six women pilots as the Santa Paula Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, Inc. In 1999, the name was changed to the Ventura County Chapter to reflect our expanding membership in Ventura County and to include all four county airports, Camarillo (CMA), Oxnard (OXR), Point Mugu (NTD) and Santa Paula (SZP).
Ventura County Chapter History
As one of the largest Chapters in the organization today, our membership has surpassed 110. To put this in perspective, one in 51 worldwide members of The Ninety-Nines is a member of the Ventura County Chapter. The membership includes general aviation pilots and professional pilots who fly for airlines, corporations, government entities and the movie industry. Some are military pilots, flight instructors, those who fly for enjoyment and student pilots. They are women who possess a wide range of talents and are willing to put them to use.
As a Chapter, We have become recognized as leaders and strong supporters of many activities within Southwest Section and the International organization. The Ventura County Ninety-Nines is also one of the most active Chapters in the world. We host an annual Aviation Career Day, speaker programs for the local aviation community, paint air markings for local airports and organize a host of other aviation-related activities. The VC99s' Annual Pilot Proficiency Classes and Annual Silent Auction enabled the Chapter to contribute significantly to the repair and maintenance of the International Headquarters and Museum of Women Pilots building in Oklahoma City as well as many types of flying scholarships.
In addition, the Chapter endowed the VC99s Perpetual Scholarship through the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund in 2006 and currently offers annual aviation scholarships to the local community. In 2011, the Chapter contributed matching funds and with the help of significant matching funds from Lightspeed Aviation, concluded a successful fundraising drive for the Vicki Cruse Memorial Scholarship in memory of their beloved member, National Aerobatic Championship Pilot Vicki Cruse. The scholarship is a perpetual scholarship administered by the Ninety-Nines Inc.'s Trust, The Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund.
International Organization History
In 1929 there were 117 female pilots in the United States. They were invited to join an association for mutual support and the advancement of aviation. Twenty-six of them gathered at Curtiss Airport in Valley Stream, New York. They had no trouble deciding on eligibility and purpose. Membership would be open to any woman with a pilot’s license. The purpose was “good fellowship, jobs, a central office and files on women in aviation.” Choosing a name was a little harder. After a number of light-hearted suggestions, Amelia Earhart proposed that the name be taken from the number of charter members. Thus, the group was briefly the 86s, then the 97s, and finally the 99s. In 1931 the group elected Amelia Earhart as their first president.
Since that time, the organization has grown to nearly 6,000 members from countries around the world. Members include professional pilots for airlines, industry and government. Others are military pilots, flight instructors, astronauts, aviation performers and competitors. Many fly just for the enjoyment of it. First and foremost, Ninety-Nines are women who love to fly.
The organization as a whole and its individual Chapters worldwide provide a number of services. Among many activities, 99s organize air races, conduct air marking, provide pilot proficiency classes to their communities, promote aviation and space education, mentor aspiring general aviation and professional pilots, and preserve the history of women in aviation through the Museum of Women Pilots in Oklahoma City and the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas. The 99s offer aviation scholarships through local Chapters and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund, a $5.5 million endowed trust fund that has awarded over 1,100 scholarships providing more than $11.5 million of financial aid for initial ratings, advanced ratings, academic degrees and Research Scholar Grants. The AEMSF has helped thousands of women achieve their aviation dreams. The 99s Headquarters is located in a two-story building complex on six acres at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It houses their archival records, video oral histories, personal artifacts, collections, memorabilia and biographical files on thousands of women pilots from around the world.
Chairman: Judy McCarthy
Vice Chair: Alison Barker
Secretary: Janeen Gaul
Treasurer: Diane Grizard
Past Chair: Peggy Watson-Meinke