PILOT Following Earhart Route Stops in Muskogee

Monday, September 10th 2001, 12:00 am

By: News On 6

(MUSKOGEE) - A California pilot following Amelia Earhart's record-breaking route made a rest stop at the final day of AirShow Oklahoma 2001.

Carlene Mendieta piloted a 1927 Avro Avian to the airfield south of Muskogee on Sunday afternoon. She is following the 5,000-mile route Earhart made in 1928.

Muskogee was one of 13 scheduled stops between Westchester, N.Y., and Glendale, Calif. Mendieta will return to New York after reaching Glendale.

It was merely coincidence that Mendieta landed in Muskogee during AirShow Oklahoma, said Greg Herrick, the flight's sponsor.

``We heard there was the show, and we adjusted the schedule one day to be here,'' he said.

Mendieta, who wears jodhpurs, boots and antique goggles, signed autographs for more than an hour.

Mendieta, 47, a California periodontist who collects and flies antique airplanes, was hand-picked to attract interest in aviation and Earhart, who mysteriously disappeared during a flight over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.

The flight is part of an effort to promote a Web site and Herrick's catalog business, Historic Aviation.


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