By Jerry Lips
On Dec. 14, 1928, Bobbi Trout flew her Golden Eagle in the official dedication race at Los Angeles Metropolitan Airport (now Van Nuys Airport). Competing with some of the best women pilots of the time, including Pancho Barnes and Amelia Earhart, Bobbi’s first-place finish was the beginning of many firsts for women in aviation.
In August 1929, 20 women, including Bobbi, competed in the prestigious National Cleveland Air Races in the first Transcontinental Air Derby. After seeing several of the women checking their compacts and powdering their noses, Will Rogers dubbed the race the “Powder Puff Derby.” News reporters quickly picked up the phrase.
Shortly after launching the Van Nuys Airport Journal in July 2000, Linsey and Di traveled to Bobbi’s home in San Diego for an interview. It was the beginning of a lasting friendship. Bobbi was a Porsche fan and drove her Porsche until she gave up driving at age 91. Linsey’s 911 Carrera became Bobbi’s transportation of choice getting to the many aviation events, book signings and functions honoring legends of aviation. Bobbi gave Linsey several mementos that her good friend Amelia Earhart had given her.
On Katie Weeks’ first birthday, Linsey sent one of those mementos to Katie, along with the challenge to meet Linsey for lunch on Katie’s 21st birthday and discuss their fathers’ contributions to aviation. At this year’s Living Legends of Aviation awards ceremony, Kermit brought Linsey a card from Katie, with her first entry in her logbook.