In 1961, "K" Cagle received her invitation to the Lovelace Clinic, while plying
her trade as a flight instructor in Macon, Ga. The 5'2, 100 pound, 36 year old
pilot, while small in stature (as were the Mercury 7 men who had height and weight
constraints due to fuel and weight requirements of lifting a capsule) had built
up a VERY impressive 4,300 hours of flying time - more than some of the Mercury 7
men. She held a Commerical Pilots license, with Airplane Single and Multi Engine
Land ratings, an Instrument rating and was a Certified Flight Instructor, Certified
Flight Instrument Instructor and Certified Ground Instructor. She also holds an
A&P (Airframe and Power plant) license, making her a certified aviation mechanic as
well. And that's not all, she's also a licensed Nurse.
Also bit by the flying bug at an early age, she attempted to join an aeronautics
class in her high school. As she learned to fly at age 12 (taught by her brother)
it was easy for her mother to convince the principal to allow her to join the class.
She did so well, that when
the instructor was drafted, she stepped in and finished the year as the teacher.
Afterwards, "K" returned to Georgia, and resumed flying as an Instructor and with
the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). It's not unusual to have seen her as of late, up to
her elbows in grease working on an airplane engine.
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