I'm shocked that nobody here seems to know who Beryl Markham was. FYI, here are a few excerpts from the online biography linked above:
When Markham had been licensed for less than a year, she undertook a daring solo flight to England. She left Nairobi in a single-engine, 120-horsepower airplane that had no radio, no direction-finding equipment, and no speedometer. On the first day she flew northeast to Juba, a town in the Sudan, but was forced down a short distance from the airport by a storm and engine trouble. The next day she flew to Malakal on the Nile River. She tried to reach Khartoum, the capital city of the Sudan, on the following day but made it only halfway before the plane's engine failed. Landing in the desert, she repaired the engine as best she could. Local people helped her push the plane to harder sand, where she took off again and made it to a nearby airfield. The next morning Markham flew on to Khartoum, but the engine died twice along the way. In Khartoum it was discovered that the engine had a cracked piston ring. She was unable to get spare parts there, so she flew on to Atbara, where she replaced the piston.
When the engine continued to malfunction, Markham was forced to land outside Cairo, Egypt, in the middle of a dust storm that was so severe she could not see the ground as she was landing. After the British Royal Air Force repaired the engine for her, she flew on across the Mediterranean Sea, wearing an inner tube around her neck as a lifesaving device. Although bad weather plagued her flight across Europe, she finally landed safely in London. Her flight from Kenya had taken 23 days.
A telephone call from a small town in Nova Scotia finally brought news of the aviator. She had survived her trip, but the plane had crash-landed in a peat bog. With the nose of the plane stuck in the mud, she had climbed out and greeted two fishermen by saying, "I'm Mrs. Markham. I've just flown from England."
Her flight across the Atlantic had almost ended in tragedy when the fuel line to one of the plane's tanks froze, causing the engine to fail and the plane to fall toward the ocean. Just before Markham reached the sea, the line warmed up and the gasoline started to flow again, allowing her to pull the plane up to safety. It was another frozen fuel line that caused her to crash in Nova Scotia.
Disappointed that she had not managed to fly all the way to New York City, Markham was afraid the flight would be considered a failure. In fact, news services carried the report throughout the world, and she was hailed as a heroine. In Nova Scotia a U.S. Coast Guard plane met her, and she co-piloted it to New York, where she met Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and rode in a motorcade through the city. Markham returned to England to find she had become a celebrity. She lived there for the next few years but did not take up flying again. Although she talked about entering another of the great air races, her interest seems to have faded after her friend Campbell Black was killed in the race to South Africa.
Where are all of my respected members going?