Pearl Laska Chamberlain
Born in West Virginia in 1909, Pearl was a Women's Air Service Pilot (WASP) in World War II, a pilot in Alaska following the war, and a flight instructor. Though she had humble beginnings growing up and learning to fly in West Virginia, she quickly turned her interest toward the north, coming to Alaska in 1944 after many years of flying, training and teaching. Her adventures as a pilot involved everything from Powder Puff Derbies to filling her tank with water instead of gasoline. In March 2006, the FAA presented Pearl with a "Master Pilot" award at a banquet in Fairbanks,Alaska recognizing 50 years of safe flying. She is only the 2nd woman pilot in Alaska to receive this prestigious award. As if this wasn't impressive enough, Pearl also learned to fly Ultralight aircraft at age 83! She died at age 103 on November 22, 2012. For more about Pearl Laska Chamberlain, see her obituary in the Tennessean newspaper or an entry in Wikipedia.
Biographical information from: Women Pilots of Alaska : 37 Interviews and Profiles by Sandi Sumner (McFarland Publishing Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2005).