Friday, April 6, 2012

Living Legends & Celebration

A Newsletter from the Producer of
Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby 
Newsletter #14
  April 2012
Welcome to the newsletter about:

Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby (BTTC). 

Happy Spring everyone. For those of you who are pilots, I hope you are taking advantage of the warmer weather and longer daylight hours to get in some flying. For those of you who stay on the ground, more often than not, I hope you are enjoying your spring and taking some time to celebrate and enjoy something you are passionate about in life.

I spent March, which is women's history month, introducing more people to the women of the 1929 Air Derby. Please read below to learn about these screenings. I also had the opportunity to speak to some amazing women pilots who continue the tradition of  "Breaking through the Clouds" so read on.

Thank you and Blue Skies to all.

Heather Taylor,
Producer of the award-winning documentary Breaking Through the Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby
An Archetypal Images Production.
In This Issue
Pioneer Hall of Fame
LIVING Pioneers In Aviation
BTTC DVD Available
Coming Up: What's Next for BTTC
What is BTTC?
Thank you
BTTC Tshirts For Sale
Sale of Old Cover DVDs

Pioneer Hall of Fame & Other Great events in March

On March 10th, the twenty women of the First Women's National Air Derby were officially inducted into the Women in Aviation's
Pioneer Hall of Fame.  It is gratifying to know the women's legacy is now honored in such a way.

WAI  Plaque

I had a wonderful time at the conference listening to women from all walks of life tell me their connection and love for all things aviation. I met young women who are just starting out in their adventures in flying, others who fly for major airlines, some who fly missions in Afghanistan and others who just fly for fun. I also spent time with some women who are living legends in aviation (see below for details on that). ALL of these women truly are supporting others in their pursuits and making a difference in their own right!

Besides attending the Women in Aviation Conference in Dallas to induct the women into the Pioneer Hall of Fame, I screened BTTC in numerous locations including the fantastic Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, Maryland, The Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, MD, and Hood College in Frederick, MD. There were many great questions from an engaged audience at each screening. BTTC was also part of the Women's International Film Festival in Miami, Florida March 30th.

The Hagerstown Showing was sponsored, in part, by the Maryland NOW organization. Member Linda Smith did a fabulous job organizing everything, even arranging for The Herald Mail to cover the event. Here is a link to an article that was published the next day (there is video as well) Herald Mail Article on BTTC Screening.

Of course the screening at Hood College was special since it is where I premiered BTTC in the summer of 2010. The president of Hood, Dr. Volpe, attended the screening as did my adviser, Donna Bertazzoni, and several of my professors from when I attended Hood many years ago. It was neat to come back to my Alma Mater and share some of my success as certainly my values regarding women's empowerment were encouraged at Hood. I learned shortly after the screening that I have been nominated by the administration to be a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Thank you, Hood!

All in all, it was a very busy month in March but I think it was a very successful one in regards to getting the women's stories out there to inspire more people to follow their own dreams and learn about some phenomenal women in history.

Living Pioneers in Aviation

Normally I reserve this section to share a bit more about the women of the derby, who they were and how they contributed to aviation. However, this month I am going to diverge from that template to celebrate some amazing LIVING legends I had the privilege of spending time with at the Women in Aviation Conference. These women built upon the wings of the women in the derby and took it to the next level (altitude). Like most women pilots I speak to, I found the following three to be full of energy, moxie, a determination to make a difference - and most importantly, a whole lot of fun!

Bernice "Bee" Falk Haydu
Bee Haydu

Bee is a WASP, Class of 44-47 (Women's Airforce Service Pilot). She played a large part in obtaining veteran benefits for the women pilots of WW1I. In the image above, you might be able to  make out the picture in the lower right hand corner where Bee and other WASPs were at the White House as President Obama signed a bill to award the WASPS a Congressional Gold Medal.

Bee was inducted into the Women in Aviation's Pioneer Hall of Fame in March along with the women of the 1929 Derby. Congratulations to her and immense gratitude to her for all she has accomplished and all she continues to do in a very active and productive life!

Pearl Judd
Pearl Judd

Pearl Judd was also a WASP during World War II. I had the privilege of sitting next to her during the Women in Aviation Banquet. She had everyone at the table charmed the entire time. She is an incredibly delightful and extremely accomplished woman!

Captain Mary Feik
Mary Feik

Mary Feik has done so much that I don't even know how to generalize or edit it down! She was a B-29 Flight engineer and a pilot in all manner of planes from bomber, cargo and training aircraft and a test pilot, including in the the P-59 Jet fighter. Mary authored pilot training manuals and technical engineering reports that were distributed throughout the armed forces (including for jet fighter planes and high performance planes). She is credited as being the first woman engineer in research and development in the Air Technical Service Command's Engineering Division at Wright Field, Ohio. Her war experiences included teaching aircraft maintenance to crew chiefs and mechanics for the US Army Air Forces. When the Lockheed P-80 entered service, she was issued a brand-new model nicknamed "Mary's Little Lamb" in her honor.
Mary also worked at the National Air and Space Museum's as a Restoration Specialist.

Mary often states that being a part of the Civil Air Patrol held the most meaning for her and having the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Achievement award created in her name is one of her highest honors.

I first met Mary at a 99s chapter meeting in Maryland where she came to individually thank the Rosie the Riveters who were speaking that day. Mary said she could always tell when a Rosie the Riveter worked on one of her planes because of the care and detail demonstrated. Whenever I speak to Mary, she astonishes me with her energy, intelligence, accomplishments, sense of humor and overall attitude in life. 

I had such a fabulous time talking to Bee, Pearl and Mary at the conference. What AMAZING women! My thanks to them and so many others for their willingness to share their stories, generosity in spirit and inspiration to the rest of us to do our part in this world!
Quick Links for BTTC Social Media

BTTC Website:

BTTC Facebook Page has the latest updates as they happen
Like us on Facebook

BTTC TWITTER ACCOUNT: @breakingclouds
Follow us on Twitter

Follow along on more detailed writings on the BTTC Blog

Visit our blog

BTTC You Tube
Please click "like" and/or make comments. 

Receive the BTTC Newsletter

BTTC DVD Available
BTTC Cover withLaurels
The DVD is available at: 

The inspiring true story of 20 women who raced across America in 1929.  

Follow along as headline aviatrixes Amelia Earhart, Pancho Barnes, Phoebe Omlie, Bobbi Trout and Louise Thaden race across the country during nine amazing days in the summer of 1929.
Breaking Through The Clouds provides over two hours of captivating viewing with original footage from the women who flew in the 1929 air derby and from the race itself.

Beautiful aerial recreations place the viewer in the pilot's seat. Interviews with legendary pilots Elinor Smith Sullivan, Patty Wagstaff, Julie Clark, family members of the original pilots & aviation historians bring the story alive.

With 23 minutes of bonus material included, the film features challenges the women faced during the race, what the women wore and more information about the planes & navigation in 1929. 

Available at:
BTTC Cost $30 plus S&H

*Note:For those who do not like to order on-line or use pay pal,you may fill out this order form and mail a check:
BTTC Order Form 

COMING UP: What's Next for BTTC

It may seem a little quiet in April, May and June but rest assured, I am very busy laying the groundwork for some exciting new developments in regards to BTTC. More information will be disclosed as soon as I can discuss details.

In the  meantime, I will be screening BTTC as part of the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Columbia, Maryland on
June 20th at Howard Community College. I hope anyone in the vicinity will attend the screening and bring your neighbors!

I also expect to be at AirVenture this July. More details as they develop.

*If you would like to host a screening of BTTC in your community, license the film or schedule a presentation by the producer, please contact me at to discuss fees and schedules. Thank you.

What is Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby?

Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women's National Air Derby is an award-winning documentary about 20 female pilots, including Amelia Earhart, who raced across the country for 9 days in August 1929 to prove that women could fly. They encountered cultural stereotypes, navigation challenges, threats of sabotage, mechanical difficulties and endless chicken dinners. The women persevered and became pioneering legends in aviation. Their story is inspiring to anyone who has the courage to follow their own dream.  

Producer Heather Taylor had a calling to tell this inspiring story in the hopes of helping others to find the courage to search for their own path. While Heather hasn't had to deal with the endless chicken dinners like the women in the derby did, she does face the challenges of an an independent artist.  By spreading the word and supporting the film, you are helping Heather and other struggling artists reach for the sky in their own way and work towards breaking through the clouds. Thank you. 
Heather Taylor, Executive Producer
Archetypal Images, LLC
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Thank you & Ways to Help

BTTC has only been able to succeed because of individual support! It is very much a grassroots effort so I appreciate every single comment, thumbs up, mention and email I receive. It truly keeps me going to know the film touches lives in some positive way.

If you would like to help me keep it going, here are just a few simple (and free) ideas that can make a big difference:
  • Post a positive comment (or thumbs up) on youtube underneath the BTTC clip  
  • Become a Fan of BTTC Face Book Page  
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Forward these newsletters, and/or sign up for my blog  
All links for the social media are below. You can also mention BTTC in your own blog, article, podcast or to friends and colleagues.

Of course there are a myriad of other ways to help as well. If the film has touched you in some way, please feel free to email and let me know.

As always, thank you!

BTTC T-shirts Available

Black BTTC AND white BTTC t-shirts are available for purchase. Below is what the front of a black t-shirt looks like.  The back has written in the top middle part. 

If you would like a t-shirt, send me an email. The cost is $20 plus postage. Heather@breakingthroughtheclou 
BTTC T-shirt (black).  White T-shirts with a black Logo are also available.

*PLEASE NOTE: If you haven't heard a response within a week (typically much sooner), chances are I did not receive the email. You may call me at 865-242-7551 to follow up, though my preference is email first so I can keep track of the order. Thank you. 

Old Cover DVD's on Sale

I still have some DVDs with the old cover featured. Despite the old cover, a couple spelling errors in the opening quote and a missing credit, the film is the same as what is sold now. I am selling these copies for $20 plus shipping while supplies last. If interested, send an email to and we can work out the details. Thank you. 

BTTC old cover

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