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Pancho Barnes's Geni Profile

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Florence Leontine Barnes (Lowe)

Also Known As: "Pancho"
Birthplace: Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, USA
Death: Died in Boron, Kern, California, USA
Cause of death: breast cancer
Place of Burial: Cremated, ashes spread over the site of the Happy Bottom Riding Club.
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thaddeus Lowe, II and Florence May Lowe
Ex-wife of Rev. Rankin Barnes; Robert Hudson Nichols, Jr.; Don Shalita and Eugene Barnes
Mother of William E. Barnes

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Pancho Barnes

Florence Lowe "Pancho" Barnes (July 22, 1901 – March 30, 1975) o

Pancho was a pioneer aviator and the founder of the first test pilots union. She broke Amelia Earhart's air speed record in 1930.

She ran an ad-hoc barnstorming show and competed in air races. Despite a crash in the 1929 Women's Air Derby, she returned in 1930 under the sponsorship of the Union Oil Company to win the race – and break Amelia Earhart's world women's speed record with a speed of 196.19 mph (315.7 km/h). Barnes broke this record in a Travel Air Type R Mystery Ship.

After her contract with Union Oil expired, Pancho moved to Hollywood to work as a stunt pilot for movies. In 1931, she started the Associated Motion Picture Pilots, a union of film industry stunt fliers who promoted flying safety and standardized pay for aerial stunt work. She flew in several air-adventure movies of the 1930s, including Howard Hughes' "Hell's Angels."