23 November 2010
The true story of a spirited Chickasaw daredevil whose young life in 1928 rural Oklahoma suddenly changes one Sunday afternoon. The soon-to-become famous Wiley Post lands his plane in her father's field, and a brief joyride through the clouds ignites the girl's passion for flight. Pearl Carter's thirst for thrills has found an outlet. Mentored by Post and supported by her resolute father, George, Sr., Pearl demonstrates that she has the courage and composure of a true pilot. Soon, the 12-year-old sits at the controls of a brand new Curtiss-Robin, soars with the best flight instructor available and has a landing strip for a backyard. While everyone in town is amazed, not all are delighted about Pearl's unconventional exploits. At first, her dangerous new interest troubles Lucy, Pearl's strong, forbearing Chickasaw mother. Opaletta, the Carters' eldest daughter, is aggrieved by the disproportionately close relationship her father shares with Pearl. In fact, Opal's reaction to the situation influences Pearl's choice in an important decision years later. In the meantime, Pearl pilots her father and other businessmen all over the state but, for the young adventurer, these trips grow stale. After being awarded her student pilot permit (two or three years earlier than allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration), Pearl launches headfirst into a barnstorming career. Her local celebrity status shoots skyward. Pearl continues to pursue her dream against the backdrop of the deepening Depression and catastrophic Dust Bowl, both of which took their tolls on the family business. Pearl comes of age and finds love, which sends her priorities into a tailspin. Then, as a young wife and mother, her two greatest passions collide, her closest relationships are jeopardized, and the thrill-seeking daredevil comes face to face with reality.
- Written by
Donna Carlton, Head Writer: "Pearl"