Pioneering aviator Trout dies at 97

Ryan Carter

According to a friend, pioneering female aviator Evelyn “Bobbi”

Trout only asked for one thing at the end of her life: her wings.

A memorial service in Burbank has been planned for Trout, who died


Jan. 24. She was 97.

The service is set for 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at Hangar 34 at

Burbank-Pasadena-Glendale Airport. Family, friends and aviation

enthusiasts are expected to come from all over the country to pay


their respects to Trout, who made legendary flights in the late 1920s

and early 1930s over Burbank and Glendale, and helped usher in an age

of aviation in this area.

“She didn’t want a funeral or a memorial,” friend Cheryl Baker

said. “She just wanted a celebration of her spreading her wings with

a few friends.”

Friends remembered Trout as a trailblazer with a brilliant mind.

“She was one of the brave souls who dared to experiment with ...


airplanes at that time,” friend Nanette Malher said. “Many of those

flights were the forerunners of aviation today.”

On June 16, 1929, Trout, who was called “Bobbi” because of a

bobbed hair style she took up when it was en vogue, took off in her

plane -- the Golden Eagle Chief -- from Grand Central Air Terminal in

Glendale. At 15,200 feet above the city, she broke the altitude

record for light aircraft.

That same year, as a demonstration pilot, she was part of the


first women’s transcontinental air race. She was the last surviving

participant of that race, which included Amelia Earhart.

In 1930, Trout won the woman’s air race at the opening of United

Airport, the first incarnation of what became the

Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport.

But it wasn’t all about racing. In 1929, she and Elinor Smith

became the first women to accomplish mid-air refueling, which was a

new technique at the time.

During World War II, Trout made a business -- based in Glendale --

out of salvaging aircraft rivets for aviation companies. She lived in

Glendale, Burbank and Toluca Lake at various times.

Trout is survived by her sister-in-law, a nephew and grandnephews.