1996: Female pilot club lands in Merrill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

1996: Female pilot club lands in Merrill

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(WAOW) -- It's time for another Throwback Thursday.

During this week almost 20 years ago, female pilots landed in Merrill.

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Each month, members of the Wisconsin 99 Club fly into a different community for their meeting.

They come from all walks of life, but have some things in common – they are women who love flying.

"The 99 Club is a chapter of the International 99 organization. And we are an organization of women pilots founded in 1929 by Amelia Earhart and 98 other women and that's where the name came from."

Inside the Merrill Municipal Airport hanger, the women meet to talk about flying. Outside, their families and visitors check out the planes that have come in for a landing. A military jet has caught the eye of one man. As an aviation enthusiast, he's never seen one quite like it.

"When my son called me, I was building one, and he says there's a weird jet out there. I dropped everything and came out. I've never seen this jet before. And to find out it's owned by a lady, and flown by a lady sure makes me feel good. "

The owner and pilot of this jet has even bigger dreams.

"I had a dream of becoming an astronaut so I thought this would be an excuse to start getting some of the military experience that I lack but it's going to be a real long shot on that.”

Maybe and maybe not. But as they take to the sky, these women of the Wisconsin 99 Club continue a mission that took flight some 70 years ago.  

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