Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women’s National Air Derby The inspiring true story of 20 women who raced across America in 1929. Wearing breeches and goggles during the day and ball gowns at night, twenty brave pilots, including Amelia Earhart, defied convention by taking to the skies and racing across the country in the first Women’s National Air Derby. These pioneering women were ambassadors of flight in the Golden Age of Aviation. Blanche Noyes smelled smoke two thousand feet in the air. Landing in the desert, she quickly threw sand on the fire in her baggage compartment, burning her hands in the process. A gust of wind snatched the map out of Ruth Elder’s hands while she was flying over Oklahoma in her open cockpit plane leaving her to wonder which way to go next. A car drove on to the runway at a very inopportune time when Pancho Barnes was making her approach into Pecos, Texas, resulting in what may be the first car crash in an air race. These are just a few of the stories of bravery and perseverance the women faced during the nine days of the derby. All of the women navigated through rough weather, mechanical failures, public scrutiny, cultural stereotypes and rumors of sabotage. They were from diverse backgrounds with bigger than life personalities including the media darling, the Hollywood starlet, the wing walker, the record breakers and the unforgettable foul-mouthed wife of a preacher. What brought them together was their love of flying. Will Rogers chronicled the women’s journey in his daily column, dubbing the race the powder puff derby, while front-page headlines highlighted the women’s outfits, looks and personality as much as their flying skills. Through it all, the women became legends of the air, breaking through the clouds and inspiring generations to come. Breaking Through The Clouds: The First Women’s National Air Derby is the documentary, which tells this largely unforgotten story. This award-winning film contains footage of the actual race, much of which has not been seen in over eighty years. Brightly colored planes similar to those the women flew in the race recreate some of the scenes, allowing the viewer to feel as if they are in the pilot’s seat. Interviews with aviation legends Patty Wagstaff, Elinor Smith Sullivan, National Air & Space Museum curator Dorothy Cochrane and living relatives of the pilots adds an enormous emotional edge to the telling of this story.