Pearl Carter Scott – America’s Youngest Aviator
Folks along the old Chisholm Trail in rural 1927 Stephens County rarely saw an airplane in flight. So when a monoplane circled Marlow one morning and landed on blind entrepreneur George Carter’s spread just east of town, a crowd gathered to investigate. The pilot who stepped out of the aircraft was himself blind in one eye, as evidenced by the black eye patch he wore. An unknown ex-convict who had just completed his first solo flight, Wiley Post had a brother named Joe who lived across the road from Carter’s pasture.
Pearl Carter Scott, Oklahoma City artist Christopher Nick’s (www.cnickstudio.com) rendering of the teenage female aviatrix from Marlow, her Curtiss Robin monoplane, and her flying mentor, Wiley Post. Used with permission from the Oklahoma State Senate Collection and the artist. Courtesy Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, a project of Charles Ford.
Living with Carter was his eleven-year-old daughter Pearl, whose thirst for learning and adventure seemed inexhaustible. Already, she not only drove automobiles, but served her father as his business chauffeur. After lunch, Post asked Carter would he enjoy a ride aloft. Carter, despite his blindness, accepted. When they returned, Pearl peppered them both with questions, then announced she would like to go up next. Her biographer Paul F. Lambert described what followed: