Pancho Barnes

Pancho Barnes signaturePancho Barnes
Pancho Barnes

Pancho Barnes


Pancho Barnes (1901-1975) is considered by many to be one of the 20th century's greatest American characters. During her lifetime, Pancho was renowned 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's influential 1930 epic Hell's Angels. Pancho later founded one of the first unions in Hollywood and she holds the distinction of being Lockheed's first female test pilot. Pancho became the "Fastest Woman on Earth" in 1930, when she beat the world's speed record set by flying ace Amelia Earhart.

Barnes gained international fame when she founded the Happy Bottom Riding Club at what is now Edwards Air Force Base in California. Club members included heads of state, high ranking military, actors, actresses, writers and artists. Members could fly into her FAA approved airport, attend rodeos at her championship stadium, ride horses, dance, drink, eat and then decide to do it all over again by checking into her hotel.

The Emmy award-winning documentary film  The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club has screened on most American Public Television stations, ABC-TV Australia, prestigious film festivals and is available on DVD.

The new award-winning documentary  film Breaking Through The Clouds, The First Women's National Air Derby documents the experience of the aviatrixes, including Pancho Barnes,  whom participated in the first Women's Transcontinental Air Race (Dubbed the Powder Puff Derby by columnist Will Rogers).

Marks associated with Pancho Barnes: Happy Bottom Riding Club®, Rancho Oro Verde®, Choose Happy, Gypsy Springs Ranch, JetRanch, Pancho's Fly Inn, Pancho's Rodeo, Ridin 'n Ropin, USA®, Ridin 'n Ropin, Jawbone Cafe, Blackout Lounge, X-15® and 13 Black Cats®

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