Rio Colorado 99s




Welcome to the Rio Colorado 99s website!

 The Rio Colorado Chapter of the Ninety-Nines aviation club is part of an international group of female aviators rooted in the history of, and with traces back to, Amelia Earhart. We are a chapter of The Ninety-Nines, International Organization of Women Pilots. As a licensed woman pilot (current or not) you are invited to become a part of our legacy as the first and only international organization of women pilots. The Ninety-Nines are a positive force in the aviation community and we invite you to partake in all that we can offer. Please take a few moments to look around and get to know us.

Recent Events

Congratulations to Kristi-First Solo

Congratulations to Kristi Scott for her first solo Thursday February 4th! Click here for more photos-check out that medal!!

6th Annual Flying Poker Run

Saturday Jan 30th Desert Skies Executive

Our biggest, most successful Poker Run fundraiser yet! Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially to Desert Skies for hosting the event. The day dawned bright and beautiful, we had 30+ airplanes participate, and served over 100 people for lunch. Winners of the poker hands, first place-Bev Coons, second place-Glenn from Needles, and third place-Kay from Tucson. Thanks to all of you for participating. We had an outstanding raffle, with great prizes from our supporters, raising money for our scholarship fund. George Molitor along with the FAA presented an outstanding Safety Seminar. All in all, a day of FUN!

Congratulations to Dianne Tobin!

Our newest private pilot, Dianne Tobin, joined the ranks today, passing her Private Pilot checkride with examiner Joe LaPlaca. Congratulations Dianne! And she's already checking out a bigger, faster airplane, for flying in the high country of Prescott where she and hubby have a second home. Way to go, Dianne!






Gone West-legendary pilot Claire Walters, 85, passed away Jan 1st, 2010. She and her twin sister Betty were born Feb 20, 1924 in Santa Ana, CA. She began flying in 1941, with the goal of being a flight instructor and owning her own flight school. She accomplished that, and much, much more. She was the President of the Claire Walters Flight Academy, teaching thousands to live out their dreams, from air line pilots to those who fly for the fun of it. She flew a small twin engine solo over the vast Pacific from Oakland, CA to Australia. She flew to Mexico to rescue and woman held hostage and returned her to the U.S. Navigated a flight that set 3 records. Wrote the Airline Transport Rating curriculum for the flight schools giving the G.I. Bill ratings. Was in the 1st group of 42 famous flyers to be honored in the Forest of Friendship. National Aeronautics Association gave her an Elder Statesman Award for 1998, " efforts have directly contributed to making aerospace in the USA the most reliable, advanced, and safest in the world"

But of course we know her best from air racing! She founded the Palms to Pines air race in 1970 and raced in just about every one. This summer, Tookie, Shannon and I (Pam) flew in the 40th Annual Palms to Pines and took 5th place, in a field of 20 airplanes. I got to meet Claire, and her friends, and listen to their stories-what a blast. She was an amazing, interesting woman and she will be missed. She wrote a book "This Flying Life" and I have a copy if anyone wants to read it.

You Tube video

Membership - Women pilots from areas along the Colorado River are invited to join the Rio Colorado 99s chapter. Membership is open to all licensed women pilots.

Archives May 2009 Reno Air Races, Pancake Breakfast, London Bridge Days parade with trophy!

Archives July 2009  Don, Shannon and Pam honored at the International Forest of Friendship, Big Bear Fly-out, Painting the compass rose at HII

Archives August 2009 Palms to Pines Air Race

Archives Dec 2009 London Bridge Days Parade, going to "Amelia" Christmas party, Scholarships to Roxanne and Melissa

Business card Exchange

Photo Album View pictures of our events, fundraisers, and Fun

Upcoming Events: Saturday March 27 2010

Rio Colorado Air Derby

 "Rivers to Ridges, Desert 'n' Bridges"

 "Rivers to Ridges, Desert 'n' Bridges" That would best describes the route of our air race! The race is 245 nm and will have 5 fly-by's. The Rio Colorado Air Derby is sponsored by the Rio Colorado chapter 99s and will raise funds for air scholarships, safety programs, and educational programs and projects in the tri-state area. Application forms for entry through this website. Race Kit click here. The race is open to all pilots, with stock airplanes. (no experimental aircraft due to insurance requirements) Click here for your handicap. If you need any questions answered about air racing at this time, contact Tookie, our resident air race expert at

Frances Irwin First Solo!

Congratulations to Frances Irwin on her first solo Jan 5th!


Mr Poggi Goes to Helicopter Class

Our 49 1/2, Don Poggi, started helicopter school last week and had his first 10 hours of hovering instruction. Don says controlling a helicopter is beyond description!



Scholarships - The Rio Colorado Chapter 99s is offering three different scholarships in 2009. And Aviation Hall of Fame recipient Joe LaPlaca is also offering a scholarship. The minimum requirements for a scholarship are:

1. Written exam (if applicable.)

2. Medical current.

3. Essay about yourself, your goals, why you would like a scholarship, background about yourself, financial need if applicable.

4. Two letters of recommendation

The Rio Colorado Chapter looks at all aspects of the applicant’s background, goals and need. The award will be given based on all criteria, so we encourage all to apply.

Scholarship Winners


Congratulations to Melissa!

Melissa passed her written exam for Private Pilot on October 27th. Yeah, Melissa! We are so happy to have these new pilots in our group.

On Dec 11, at the 99s Christmas party, Joe LaPlaca awarded Melissa a $500 scholarship to use towards her Private Pilot rating. Shannon and Sherri accepted the award for Melissa.


Scholarship Winner Roxanne Cedor

In November 2009 we awarded a $1000 Scholarship to Roxanne Cedor to use for her Private Pilot training. Congratulations to Roxanne! We know she will be a wonderful asset to our group!







This site was last updated 03/27/10                               Hit Counter