|Acknowledged by the Federation Aeronautique International as the "Dean of Woman Flyers in the World", Mrs. Machado (in private life the wife of Air Marshal A. Appel Neto, Brazilian Air Force), received the Aero Club of Brazil Brevet No. 77 for soloing in 1922.|
|She has acquired a long list of
aviation firsts. In July 1943 she obtained a USA
commercial pilots licence with additional ratings
as instructor and for flying on instruments only. For
several years she was instructor of instrument flying in
the Brazilian Air Force and for a commercial airline. She
has 25 decorations, eleven of them being military.
A number of South American nations have made her an honorary pilot of both the Brazilian Air Force and civil aviation. She has made numerous international flights and in 1951 flew with presidential greetings on a good will tour throughout the Americas. Still actively flying, she is a member of many of the aviation associations in this country.
Anesia Pinheiro Machado of Brazil has been called the "Dean of all Woman Pilots" because of her pioneering achievements as a woman pilot.
The Evening Star, Washington, D. C., Tuesday, October 3, 1961.
High: Her Specialty
"Firsts" are nothing new for the aviatrix whom Brazil has sent as one of five delegates to the 12th meeting of the International Astronautical Federation meeting here this week.
"When I was just a slip of a girl," recalls Anesia Pinheiro Machado, in private life the wife of Retired Air Force Gen. A. Appel Neto, "my only ambition was to learn to fly something which in those days was simply unheard of."
She obtained her first license in 1922. "It was Brevet number 77, Aero Clubs of Brazil, Federation Aeronautique Internationale."
Immediately after obtaining her license, she acquired a long list of "firsts": First woman pilot in Brazil to carry passengers; first Brazilian aviatrix to become a journalist writing exclusively on matters of aviation.
History of Flight
In September of 1922, on the centenary of Brazilian Independence and barely five months after obtaining her license, she completed an interstate flight, the first by a Brazilian aviatrix, from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro.
"I wanted to do something to commemorate the centenary," she explained. "I thought: Why not fly to Rio? It would be a beautiful thing and one which I, as a pilot, could do all alone." She never for one moment expected to create a sensation.
However, that is precisely what happened.
"The trip took four days. I flew an hour a day, perhaps, or an hour and a half at the most. I made stops all along for gasoline. Imagine my amazement when I arrived at eight in the evening at the airport in Rio, and saw all those people. I could not believe it was for me that they were waiting," she says.
There were flowers; there were congratulations from government personalities. She was so young, so lacking in vanity, that she could not believe that it was all attributed to her, or that the flight had had a great significance.
It was then that the Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont gave her the gold medal which she treasures as her good luck piece. It is a replica of one given to Santos Dumont by Isabel de Bragança. "It is my amulet. I always have it with me," she says.
In April of 1943, when she had been flying for 21 years, Anesia Pinheiro Machados dream of coming to this country was made possible. She was invited by the Government to take an aviation course at the then CAA Standardization Center in Houston, Texas. This trip was sponsored by the coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. She also took a course at the PAA school at La Guardia Field in New York, in instrument flying.
On July of that year she obtained a commercial United States license, with flight instructor and instrument ratings.
She has the greatest admiration for American women fliers. "During the second World War," she says, "they took over many of the duties of pilots to free them for combat duty. It was a magnificent thing."
Small and slender, extremely likable, she communicates her sympathies so eloquently that she makes devoted friends wherever she goes.
She sees in aviation a means of bringing closer together "all our countries." "The greatest satisfaction I believe I ever had was in 1951, when I delivered greetings to presidents in North, Central and South America. The then secretary general of the OAS, who is now President Lleras Camargo of Colombia, gave me the letters to deliver personally," she says.
After long service as an instructor in the Brazilian Air Force and for commercial airlines, she was awarded numerous titles, and military and civilian decorations from her own and several other countries. Brazil alone has awarded her six military and six civilian decorations.
She is an active member of Brazilian and international aeronautical societies.
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