A jet-age pioneer, Carl was the only American woman to test-fly experimental planes during WWII and the first woman to fly a jet. She was one of about a thousand WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots), women military flyers on the home front, whoAwith zero publicity and very low statusAferried planes to bases, served as flight instructors and test-piloted repaired aircraft. This extraordinary memoir is a spirited, timely story about staying aloft in a male-dominated profession. The WASPs learned that they had to look out for themselves, checking the planes for defects, befriending mechanics and passing the hat to pay for the funerals of the 38 women aviators who lost their lives. (Congress would not pass legislation making female military pilots full-fledged members of the Air Force until 1977.) The author, who married astronautical engineer Major William Carl just after V-E Day, test-piloted planes like the B-29 Superfortress bomber. In 1944, she made history evaluating the Bell YP-59A jet fighter at the Wright-Patterson test center in Dayton, Ohio, where soft-spoken Orville Wright was a frequent guest, ushering in the age of jet propulsion.