Brazilian aviation expert Anesia Pinheiro Machado photographed with Pan American Airways senior instructor Donald Dionne, 1940.
Anesia was the second woman to earn a Brazilian pilot’s license and the first woman to earn a US commercial pilot’s license with additional ratings as an instructor and for flying on instruments only.
In September 1922, Anesia flew across Brazil to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Brazil’s independence from Portugal. This four day flight made her the first woman to fly across Brazil. When she landed in Rio, Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont gave Anesia a replica of the medal he received from Isabel de Bragança. That medal became Anesia’s good luck charm and she was never without it.
In 1951, Anesia toured the Americas, greeting world leaders from North, Central, and South America. She considered this the most satisfying experience of her life.
Brazil’s first female pilot to transport passengers, Anesia had a long career as both a commercial pilot and an instructor for the Brazilian Air Force.