Tuesday, June 25, 2024

The Emmy™Award-Winning Documentary Film

"Broadcast" version now airing on most public television stations.

"Uncensored" version now on DVD and in film festivals.

Synopsis: A charismatic figure featured in Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff, Florence "Pancho" Barnes was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless aviatrix, Pancho was a rival of Amelia Earhart's who made a name for herself as Hollywood's first female stunt pilot. Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous -- some would say notorious -- hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Known as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club", it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. The Club's destruction by fire in 1953 is seen by many to mark the end of a Golden Era in post-WWII aviation. In the same fashion Pancho herself has become something of a legend, a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated, but whose story has been largely unknown. Until now.

A documentary film produced and written by Nick Spark and directed by Amanda Pope. Featuring interviews with test pilots Bob Cardenas, Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and biographers Barbara Schultz and Lauren Kessler. Narrated by Tom Skerritt with Kathy Bates as the voice of Pancho Barnes.

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Women in Aviation
"Read Nick Spark's article about Pancho
from Women in Aviation magazine (.pdf)"
17 July 2008

Come See Us at Flight Path on August 7th

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Pancho Barnes will be in the spotlight on August 7th, and you're invited to attend. The venue is the Flight Path Learning Center and Museum, which is located at the LAX Imperial Terminal, 6661 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles. Admission and parking are free. The event starts at 10 a.m.

Both director Amanda Pope and writer-producer Nick Spark will be in attendance to show a portion of the film, and discuss the genesis of the project and research process.

By the way, Brig. Gen. Charles E. Yeager, who appears in the film, is the honorary chairman of Flight Path.

The Flight Path Learning Center and Museum is operated by non-profit Flight Path in cooperation with Los Angeles World Airports, the City agency which operates LAX. For information call (310) 215-5291.

Are you a member of an organization that would be interested in our presentation? We're always interested in speaking in the community about the film. Some of the groups we've presented to in recent months include the EAA, Quiet Birdmen, Ninety-Nines, airport organizations, historical societies, and your group could be next! Use the contact button to send us an email, and we'll see what we can arrange.

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The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club ©2008-2010 Nick Spark Productions, LLC.