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First Woman Solo Aviator Crosses Atlantic
MISS EARHART LANDS AIRSHIP ON IRISH SOIL
Flies Close to Water as Plane Is Overheated All of Trip
Given Ovation When She Greets Throng In Londonderry
CULMORE, ULSTER, North Ireland, May 21. ─ (AP) ─ Amelia Earhart Putnam, the first woman ever to fly the Atlantic alone, landed this afternoon in a field in this green countryside after a hazardous flight in which she conquered fog and storm and the menace of fire.
Four hours after she put out yesterday afternoon from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, she saw flames spitting from her exhaust. But she didn't turn back.
"I thought it safer to go ahead," she said.
Tonight she slept in the farmhouse of Robert Gallagher, owner of the field in which she landed. Tomorrow she will go on to Croydon, England, in a borrowed airplane, leaving her own monoplane to be crated up and shipped back home.
Flying on the Fifth anniversary of the successful conclusion of Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh's New York-Paris hop, she put her name just under his on the roll of transatlantic honors, for Colonel Lindbergh is the only other person in the world who has made a solo transatlantic flight.
It was 1:45 p. m. (7:45 a. m., EST) when her almost fuelless ship came to rest in Mr. Gallagher's field. Mr. Gallagher offered her tea but she was in too much of a hurry to take it. So he motored her to Londonderry, five miles away, and there she put in a transatlantic call.
"I did it!" she exultantly told her husband, George Palmer Putnam, publisher, who was waiting anxiously in New York for news of her.
Flies 14 hours
Mrs. Putnam made approximately 2,000 miles in 14 hours and 54 minutes, giving her the best time record of any of the transatlantic fliers. She was headed for Paris when she took off from Harbor Grace, but she encountered too much trouble to make it possible to go any further ─ almost too much to get to Ireland.
"Almost four hours after leaving Newfoundland," she said, "I noticed flames from the exhaust, and became very uneasy. But it would have taken four hours to get back and I thought it safer to go ahead.
"My next trouble was a leak in the gasoline tank and to add to my troubles, I encountered heavy weather and the storm curtailed my speed.
"I saw land at about the middle of Ireland ─ probably it was the Galway ─ and then flew north. I next saw a railroad line and followed that to Londonderry, and I finally landed in the field.
"All I had to eat on the trip was some tomato juice. The only clothes I have with me are the flying suit on my back, and the only money I have is twenty dollars that was handed to me as I was leaving. I haven't even a check to sign.
"I haven't slept since Friday morning but I don't feel the least bit fatigued."
Mrs. Putnam revealed she almost met disaster when she landed. Her plane came to rest within a few yards of the farmer's cottage. Half blinded by the continuous strain on her eyes, she did not see the house until the ship stopped.
"It would have been exasperating to crash into the cottage after safely landing," she said.