PILOT, RACER, ENTREPRENEUR
Popular Aviation, August, 1930 (Source: PA)
Margaret Perry signed the Tucson Register once, on Friday, April 5, 1929 at 10:10AM. She carried a single passenger identified as Ray Theis. Based at Los Angeles, CA, they were westbound from Tulsa, OK to Los Angeles. They flew in the Spartan NC8058. They remained on the ground for 20 minutes, then continued their trip westward.
Margaret Perry (Cooper), Date Unknown (Source: NASM)
At her airplane's link, you'll discover that she was probably ferrying the airplane from the factory, where she had just purchased it. It was the airplane she would fly five months later in what became known as the Powder Puff Derby from Los Angeles to Cleveland, OH. The Derby was the first time women were allowed to fly competitively in the National Air Races (NAR). For the NAR, NC8058 was assigned race number 11. Unfortunately, Perry suffered an illness at Abilene, TX and did not finish the race.
The formal portrait, left, shows her in a white jumpsuit with the fashionable "99s" logo over the left breast pocket. Perry was a charter member and second president of the Ninety-Nines female pilots' organization (Amelia Earhart was the first ), which was formed in 1929. So this photograph can be dated post-1931, because she signed this image with her married name, Cooper. She married fellow Register pilot Larry Cooper in Seattle, WA July 8, 1931. She was Cooper's second wife. See his link for a description of his complex life.
About a year after the NAR, an article, right, appeared in the August, 1930 issue of Popular Aviation (PA) announcing her intention to purchase, open and operate an airfield and flight training facility at the site of the Culver City Airport near Los Angeles. The link provides a history of the airfield, but does not mention Perry.
The opening of her airport was celebrated, and she did invite many of her female pilot friends. This REFERENCE, 1920-1929 volume, shows a photograph of Perry (p. 198) around a table with her contemporaries. Among them were Register pilots Patty Willis, Vera Dawn Walker, Gladys O'Donnell, Aline Miller and Bobbi Trout.
I have no other information about Margaret Perry (Cooper). If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW. I'm interested in knowing her birth and death dates, and what she did for fun besides flying.
Margaret Perry is the 500th pilot biography placed online at dmairfield.org since the Web site was created, May 4, 2005. That averages about one biography placed online per week.
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