Evelyn Pinckert Brier was a sparkling conversationalist with a radiant sense of humor. This spit-fire of a woman, who everyone called “Pinky”, was also a living legend. While working with Southern California Gas Company in San Bernardino in 1934, Pinky took flying lessons from her future husband and aviation partner, Lieutenant Joe Brier, who was stationed at March Air Force Base. Pinky loved flying so much that she quit her job and trained for a transport pilot’s license. In 1938, Pinky passed the CAA examination and became the first female flight instructor in the United States.
The following year Pinky and Joe bought Tri-City Airport, located southeast of San Bernardino, and made it their home. For the next 40 years they ran a flying school, had a restaurant, and transported passengers to and from all over the southwest. Eventually, the Briers expanded the airport grounds to 270 acres.
Pinky’s life long dream was for Tri-City to serve San Bernardino as a major international airport. Unfortunately, the city lost out to Ontario. In 1979, three years after Joe’s death, Pinky sold the property to an Irvine-based development company. Pinky Brier then lived and maintained an office on Brier Drive in San Bernardino.
As long as ‘Pinky’ Brier lived, she enjoyed assisting women advance in the field of Transportation. In 2004, the Brier Foundation was established to carry forward that purpose. One of the Foundation’s activities is offering scholarships to women who want to make air, water and other forms of transportation their career.