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For many people, the story of Amelia Earhart is a legend. She is famous for her many exploits as a flyer but she is still perhaps most well-known for her disappearance. She vanished without a trace sometime in July 1937.

As a young woman, Amelia fell in love with flying. She was determined to learn to control an airplane all by herself. Soon, she was spending all her free time on weekends practising flying, taking off and landing at the airport near Boston. She was soon offered an opportunity to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean, flying from America to England. She was, at that time, not a very experienced pilot yet, so two men would be piloting the plane-she would just go along for the ride.

The flight was successfully completed, and Amelia was showered with attention, although she protested that she had actually not done anything. Amelia was determined to repeat the flight, only this time, she would fly solo. She completed the flight in 1932, becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic alone, but the flight had been fraught with obstacles. Weather conditions had been bad and her navigation instrument had gradually failed. Luckily, she landed safely in a field in Ireland, although she was not even sure where she was at first.

After this, Amelia became even more famous. After her solo Atlantic flight, Amelia continued to make and break records, showing the world that women too could become accomplished pilots. She had one more challenge in mind. She wanted to become the first person to fly round the world at its widest point-the Equator. This had never been done before, although other pilots had already circled the globe.

Accompanied by Fred Noonan, who helped her navigate the plane, Amelia flew east, making numerous stops in countries such as Senegal, Eritrea, Siam, Malaya and Australia. It was an extremely exhausting time for Amelia and Fred as they got very little sleep. The fateful part of the journey was from New Guinea to Howland Island, a tiny island in the Pacific, but Amelia never made it there. She disappeared over the Pacific and was never found, in spite of all efforts to find her plane.

   
Answer the following questions using complete sentences
  1. What does 'vanished without a trace' (paragraph 1) mean ?
  2. Why did Amelia spend all her free time practicing flying ?
  3. What was special about Amelia flying from America to England ?
  4. Why did Amelia want to repeat the flight across the Atlantic Ocean ?
  5. Quote the three-word phrase in paragraph 3 which shows that the flight in 1932 was not an easy one.
  6. Explain clearly why Amelia was 'not even sure where she was at first' (paragraph 3).
  7. In what way did Amelia show the world that 'women too could become accomplished pilots' (paragraph 4) ?
  8. From paragraph 4, what was unique about Amelia's plan to fly around the world ?
  9. What does the phrase 'the fateful part of the journey' (last paragraph) indicate ?
  10. Give two characteristics of Amelia that stood out in the passage.
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Answers
 

1.

It means 'disappeared without being ever found'.
 

2.

She wanted to learn to control an airplane by herself since she loved flying.
 

3.

She was the first woman to do so.
 

4.

She did not pilot the plane the first time she crossed the Atlantic Ocean flight and so she wanted to fly alone the second time.
 

5.

The phrase is 'fraught with obstacles'.
  6. The bad weather had damaged her navigation instruments that would have showed her the location of the plane.
  7. She did so by continuing to make and break records in flying and by flying solo over the Atlantic.
  8. She had planned to fly around the widest point of the Earth, the Equator, something that had never been done before.
  9. It indicates that it was this part of the journey, from New Guinea to Howland Island, that Amelia disappeared.
  10. Amelia was a woman who was very bold and full of determination.
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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