Doris Lockness, a noted pilot whose career earned her recognition as one of the 100 most influential women in aviation and aerospace, died Jan. 30 in Folsom, California. She was 106.
Lockness is listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the Aviation and Aerospace Industry by Women in Aviation International.
She was born Feb. 2, 1910, in Pennsylvania. Working as a liaison engineer at Douglas Aircraft when World War II began, she left in 1943 to become a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, according to her biography on the WAI website.
A 2002 inductee into the WAI Hall of Fame, Lockness was well known for flying a favored Vultee-Stinson L-5 airplane dubbed Swamp Angel.
Her promotion of women’s participation in aviation would earn her many honors, including a place in the Ninety-Nines Forest of Friendship; several awards from the OX-5 Pioneers; and multiple tributes from the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), her biography notes. She was awarded the NAA's Katharine Wright Memorial Trophy in 1997 and a Whirly Girls Livingston Award in 1996.
At age 87 she built on her place in aviation history by flying into Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport in Atchison, Kansas, thus becoming the hundredth pilot to do so.
Also, in 1997 Lockness was profiled as one of 37 women pilots in a “Women and Flight” exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum.
Lockness was the holder of numerous aircraft category and class ratings, including, notes WAI, a commercial gyroplane rating, and the status of being “only the second woman to hold the rating in a constant speed prop gyroplane.”
Lockness’s death on Jan. 30 came just days short of her 107th birthday. Services were scheduled for Feb. 6 in El Dorado Hills, California.