1889: An Argentinian Pilot is Born

August 15, 1889

Argentine aviation pioneer Carolina (Carola) Elena Lorenzini was born in Buenos Aires. She became a tremendously gifted athlete whose wide range of pursuits included rowing, cycling, tennis, hockey, horseback riding, and track and field. It was flying, though, that ultimately became Lorenzini’s greatest passion.

In 1933, Lorenzini began taking flight lessons at an aeroclub in the Buenos Aires suburb of Morón. In order to pay for the expensive lessons, she not only used up all of her savings but also sold her bicycle and an encyclopedia to help secure the needed money. Lorenzini earned her pilot’s license by 1935 and subsequently established a formidable reputation up in the skies. She set an altitude record for women in South America when she flew as high as 3.5 miles (5.7 kilometers) above the ground. Lorenzini also achieved widespread fame as a pilot because of an ambitious nationwide mission in which she flew to all 14 of Argentina’s provinces and developed first-of-a-kind aerial maps of each region for others to use.

Lorenzini made a name for herself as well by participating in and winning a large number of flying races throughout Argentina. In 1939, the magazine Vosotras named her one of Argentina’s eight women of the year. In addition, Lorenzini was featured on the cover of the sports magazine El Gráfico.

Tragically, Lorenzini lost her life in 1941 during an aerobatic exhibition in the skies over Morón for female Uruguayan pilots who remained on the ground below. The light utility aircraft that Lorenzini was flying crashed while she was attempting an inverted loop in honor of those visiting pilots. She was killed instantly. Lorenzini’s legacy has not been forgotten all of these decades later, however, and she continues to be celebrated in her native land. In 2001, for example, the Argentine Post Service (best known as Correo Argentino) issued a stamp bearing her image and name.

For more information on Carolina (Carola) Elena Lorenzini, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carola_Lorenzini.

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