Friday, March 01, 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)"
02 November 2009

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Our friend Rico Sharqawi, the producer of the forthcoming documentary film "A Pilot's Story", has been telling us for months Facebookwe had to start a Facebook page for the film.  Well, we've finally done it.  Here's one more new and exciting way to follow events related to the film.  While it won't replace our Production Journal or monthly email updates (and if you are not getting those, sign up today!), it will allow us to share some news and material that won't make it onto our webpage.  Case in point — we have a lot of photos from various events, and it's never been practical to post them.  But now that we have a Facebook page, voila!, we can have as many albums as we want.

Our hope is that you people out there, the hundreds of folks who have joined the email list and come to our events, will also use the page to ask questions about the film, showcase photos and material from your own collections, and share the film with the world.

Simply go to facebook and search for "The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club" to become a fan! or CLICK HERE

While you're at it, become a fan of "A Pilot's Story" and thank Rico for his prodding!

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