Bessica and her husband would build two more machines, establish the French-American Aeroplane Company, and work with the Wright brothers on several construction jobs. On 13 October 1910, the Aeronautical Society of America presented Bessica with a diamond-studded gold medal inscribed "First Woman Aviator in America". The Raiches migrated to Newport Beach, California in 1920. Bessica earned a medical degree, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, until her death in 1932. She never lost her love for flying, taking hops around the field with fellow pilots intending to fly solo once again. There was no doubt that Bessica felt confident about her abilities. As she told one instructor, “Sonny, I was flying a bird cage that you wouldn’t step in when you were too young for kindergarten.”
Clearly, Bessica’s name and achievements as an aviator have mostly disappeared from aviation history. Eileen Lebow states in her book, Before Amelia, that Bessica shared the distinction of being the first American woman to solo along with Blanche Stuart Scott. I would differ with this conclusion considering Blanche’s solo was unintentional. Her craft hit a bump and was momentarily airborne prior to Bessica’s flight.
For more information: http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/raiche.html