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Ryan CarterIn a note to a friend...

Ryan Carter

In a note to a friend before she died, Evelyn “Bobbi” Trout wrote

that 30 days after her passing, her friends and family were to gather

in a hangar to celebrate her life -- and keep it light.


That’s exactly what happened Sunday at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena

Airport as about 200 people, young and old, gathered inside a hollow

World War II-era hangar to celebrate the life of Trout, a pioneering

aviator who did much of it by the seat of her pants over the skies of


Glendale and Burbank.

Trout died Jan. 24. She was 97.

Outside the hangar, just before four World War II vintage AT-6

training planes flew over to honor Trout, her nephew Brook Trout

exclaimed, “For Bobbi!” and the crowd toasted her with champagne cups

held in the air.

Trout was known as a trailblazer who piloted legendary flights in

the late 1920s and early 1930s over Glendale and Burbank. She is also


credited with helping pioneer the aviation age in both cities while

paving the way for women in flight.

“She was always pushing the envelope, both in her exploits as an

aviator and in everyday life,” her nephew Brook said as the rumble of

modern aircraft boomed though the hangar.

In 1929, Trout took off in her plane -- the Golden Eagle Chief --

from what was then Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale. In that

flight, she broke the altitude record for light aircraft when she


eclipsed 15,200 feet. She was the last surviving participant of the

first women’s transcontinental race, also in 1929. That race included

her friend Amelia Earhart. And in 1930, Trout won the woman’s air

race at what became the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport. The crowd

Sunday included several women from what was known as the Women’s Air

Force Service Pilots, who during World War II, were the first women

to fly and be trained on military aircraft.

“When I was 7 years old, I heard on the radio that this woman was

going to try to stay up in the air as long as she could,” said

Margaret “Pinke” Weiss, a former women’s service pilot. “I was


LAPD patrol helicopter pilot Officer Terri Lincoln also attended.

“People say to me, ‘Oh, you are such a pioneer,’ but when I look

at Bobbi Trout I say, ‘Now there’s a pioneer.’ I know how hard it’s

been for me. Imagine how hard it must have been for her,” Lincoln