To purchase the Breaking Through the Clouds Documentary DVD, Click the button below. Your purchase helps preserve women's history and aviation history while supporting independent artists and really great stories.


There are Numerous Ways to Watch Breaking Through the Clouds:

  • Watch (and/or request) BTTC on PBS Stations Across America
  • Purchase DVD directly from the Producer (extended version) via this website
  • Purchase DVD on (extended version)
  • License the film for a private Screening (contact


Producer/Director Heather Taylor was interviewed about the women in the derby on The National Air and Space Museum's Podcast. You can listen to it here:



The attention to detail in this wonderful film really won me over. And that it told the story of this group of wonderful women aviators in a way that was true more than hyper, and captured the real feeling of what it must have been like, back then, when aviation itself was a novelty. And women pilots like Phoebe Omlie, wondrous, mysterious, dangerous, courageous, but ultimately inspiring creatures of the air itself.

Albert Lewis, Jr. Son to WASP Dorothy Swain Lewis

You have magnificently told the great, true story about the women of the Derby, and the purpose of why they flew it. You've made each of them and the Derby come to life again. I'm so appreciative of how you portrayed my mother Louise Thaden's beautiful soul, and her determination and courage to be a great pilot, and what flying and flight meant to her. She, and the other 19 pilots who flew this first race, earned their right, and the right for all women, to be able to participate in the development of aviation. Your film is a real tribute to my mother and to the others, and I'm forever grateful that their forgotten story has come to the screen for all to see. Once again, CONGRATULATIONS. I know Louise Thaden is patting you on the back and saying "Job well done, Heather".

Pat Thaden Webb, Louise Thaden’s Daughter

Such a great amount of research you have done!  Photographs, film coverage, interviews – all come together beautifully!  Thank you for your wonderful tribute to women and aviation!

Barbara O’Malley, Librarian for the docents at National Air & Space Museum and mother to former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley

I watched Breaking Through the Clouds last night. It is OUTSTANDING. The amount of comprehensive research you did on the Race and on the status of women in aviation was remarkable. I learned so much, and you struck a great balance between historical information, personal stories, and reinforcing the theme of women’s rights and women’s roles (not just in aviation, but in society). Thanks for your amazing passion and commitment to this project. 

Linda Shevitz, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center Board Member

Two thumbs up, and congrats on the achievement of capturing 1929, flying, the pilots, and the race. A well deserved standing ovation at the premiere!

  Andrew King, Pilot, Aviation Historian

Such an awesome documentary. We were amazed at the number of similarities in the race from 1929 to 2010. Amazing. But what is more amazing is how you captured the spirit and the feeling of sharing this incredible experience with some really awesome women - that part and the friendships and bonds that are made are something that touches all of our hearts. Thanks for the journey!

Terry Carbonell 2010 Air Race Classic Winner




My daughter's "heroes" are mostly celebs, well except for Hope Solo. Now she really thinks Louise Thaden and Ruth Elder are cool.

My husband and I watched Breaking Through the Clouds and LOVED every minute of it! To witness these women being so courageous and gutsy made me reflect and say to myself “What can I pioneer, what new ground can I break not just women but for humanity?”  It really got me thinking and I’ve recommended it to several of my friends. Very inspirational…thank you, thank you for telling their stories and keeping this part of our history alive!

I was inspired with the archival clips, the way you blended the facts and story, the music, the narrative, personal interviews, and the painstaking research to put it all together. It gave me an opportunity to study the women more closely, their individual personality, commitment and courage. Actually seeing them in real time film clips in 1929 was a real treat. It transported them and brought them to life in this time and place with today’s viewers.

I honestly can't thank you enough for BTTC. Since I purchased that DVD I cannot stop watching it and each time I do I am deeply moved and encouraged by these women to be the best I can be. It's absolutely unbelievable. Thank you again.

My Dad lived through this era, remembers the Derby and some of the names - Amelia, Pancho of course. But, he is an extremely difficult to please sort of person 'because' he lived through aviation history. He was 10 years old when the Derby took place and said he remembers getting the news of it through the newsreels. With the opening, the lined-up running engines, he began smiling... He was very, very pleased and was naming off the airplanes as they appeared - that's a Monocoupe, that's a Travel Air...  he was most impressed that the airplanes themselves were accurate. He said most filmmakers know the general public doesn't know the difference, so they don't bother with accuracy. ... he really, really enjoyed it and said you get an A+ - and did an excellent job. Dad doesn't give an A+ to anyone!

I usually am not the most interested person when it comes to historical films. But with this, I was not at all bored. In fact, I couldn’t wait to hear about what the next day would bring and who would eventually win. The back and forth between the old footage, new images, and the people interviewed was what kept such interest! Very nice work!  

One of the best documentaries I have ever seen. Certainly, the best aviation documentary. Women of the past and present need more print. Thank you Heather for bringing information about women to the general public. 

This story is a real life tribute to our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers who lived the American dream. The succession of all women to meet challenges and adversity that continue to evolve in the new world are an inspiration to those who follow in their footsteps. Records continue to be set and broken in every field of endeavor through the limitless energy, spirit and imagination of women without boundaries. 

I thought the structure of the story was perfect - it was great hearing about all of the unique & wonderful women individually, and I loved that it was all centered around one event. And of course, it was amazing to hear about how all of these women banded together to accomplish everything.                                                                                   


This wonderful film highlights spunky, gutsy, brave women - women, whose go-for-it attitudes made aviation history. Their accomplishments were an important stepping-stone in history for today's women pilots and showed how extraordinary women can do anything they decide to do. I love the way it was filmed and think it should be required watching for anyone involved in aviation.

Patty Wagstaff, National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee