A charismatic figure immortalized in Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff," Florence Pancho Barnes was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless pilot, Pancho raced Amelia Earhart, performed as a barnstormer and made a name for herself as Hollywood's first female stunt pilot in the 1920s and '30s. Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous and notorious hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Known as the 'Happy Bottom Riding Club', it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. The Club's destruction by fire in 1953 is seen by many to mark the end of a Golden Era in aviation. In the same fashion Pancho herself has become something of a legend, a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated but whose story is largely unknown, until now.
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Excellent tribute to a true adventurer and pioneer. The use of various film forms, photos, motion pictures and even animation along with Kathy Bates Voice acting of Pancho makes this a necessary viewing. I loved to see that even back in the 1920's Halliburton was an evil entity. Watch it for that reason too,
Very good documentary/biography of a courageous,swaggering, former society girl, eccentric,gender-bending/proto-Feminist aviator and contemporary/competitor of Amelia Earhart. An amazing life story well told.