The English Channel is notorious for fog, rain and high winds, and flying a single engine aircraft from Dover to Calais in 1912 was dicey to say the least.
So when Harriet Quimby started her engine at 5:30 am, her success was hardly assured, in fact, a male pilot friend of hers offered to make the trip instead and give her credit, not believing she could do the trip.
That just made her more determined. After she had completed her trip, local fishermen toasted her, but celebrations were short-lived as word of the Titanic's sinking eclipsed any other news. Quimby herself did not have long to enjoy her glory, she died in an air-show crash less than 3 weeks later.