Wednesday, April 24, 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)"
16 April 2009

Fundraising Event at San Diego Air & Space Museum !

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Boeing Mail PlaneWe're proud to announce that on Saturday, May 16th, we'll be doing a special fund raising screening of "The Legend of Pancho Barnes".  The location is the San Diego Air & Space Museum's annex at Gillespie Field (seen below), and the event starts at 6 p.m.  You'll want to get there much earlier in the day however, as the screening is only part of a much larger "fly in" sponsored by two of our strongest supporters -- the SDASM and Bill and Claudia Allen of the Allen Airways Flying Museum. 

Starting at 9:30 a.m., you'll be able to see some amazing historical aircraft and autos including Osh Kosh winners, Rolls Royce Heritage winners, and more.  Some of the highlights include the legendary Boeing Model 40C mail plane from Spokane -- the oldest flyable aircraft of its type and one which has recently graced the covers of many aircraft magazines.  There'll also be a 1926 Boeing FB-5, a rare 1931 Laird LBC300, 1930 Stearman 4E Speedmail and C3R; Ryans, Stinsons, Cubs, Buckers, Boeing Stearmans, Phillips Skylark, etc.  

SDASM AnnexThe "Pancho" event will include dinner, and be hosted by Jim Kidrick, the director of the SDASM.  We may also have another important guest or two!  This is a wonderful opportunity to get a peek at the film, meet the filmmakers, and hear a little bit about how the film came to be made.  Tickets are $35, with proceeds benefitting the film.  To purchase tickets, visit this link.  Tickets are limited, and it's all first-come, first-served, so I advise you to call early.

Incidentally, directions to the Annex and more information about the SDASM can be found at this link. The Allen Airways Museum (click here for more information and a map) is located nearby, on North Marshall Avenue across from the Gillespie Trolley Station at Cuyamaca.

If you can't make it on Saturday, the fly in continues on Sunday from 9-3.                               

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