She then took flying lessons from the well-known aviator Max Lillie, a pilot for the Wright Brothers, who initially refused to teach her because she was female. But she persuaded him to give her a trial lesson.
She was so good that she flew alone after only four hours of instruction. A year after receiving her certificate, she began exhibition flying. On the exhibition circuit, she was known as the "Flying Schoolgirl." Katherine Stinson tried to tell newspaper reporters she was actually 21, not 16, but they refused to believe her.
During exhibition flights in Canada, Stinson set Canadian distance and endurance records, and, in 1918, made the second air mail flight in Canada between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
A replica of her 1918 Curtiss Stinson-Special is on display at the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton. The photo is Ms. Stinson with her Curtiss airplane.