The realization of an 11-year-old girl's transcontinental flying dream and two more frustrating setbacks in the round-the-world hopes of a balloonist marked the year 1993 for better and worse in aerial sports. Victoria Van Meter of Meadville, Pa., became the youngest pilot ever to fly across the United States east to west and the youngest female ever to fly across the continent when she piloted a single-engine Cessna 172 from Augusta, Maine, to San Diego, Calif. Her flight, lasting from September 20 to 23 with four refueling stops, took her more than 4,640 km (1 km = 0.62 mi) through good but occasionally turbulent weather. "I got sick a little," she said. She was accompanied by her flight instructor, Bob Baumgartner, but did all the flying and navigating herself. The east-west crossing is the most difficult because it is against prevailing head winds.
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