Aviators

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Aviators          
Rosella Marie Bjornson Born Lethbridge, Alberta July 13, 1947. As a child she dreamed of being a pilot. At 17 she took her first lesson and completed her Private Pilot's License in just two months! She accumulated flying hours while she did her studies at the University of Calgary and established the first group of Girl Guide Air Rangers in Calgary.  In 1973 she was hired as a First Officer with the Canadian Airlines Transair. She was the first woman to be hired as a First officer in North America on scheduled jet equipment and the first woman to be hired by a commercial air line in Canada. She was also the first woman to be a member of the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association. During her second pregnancy in 1984 regulations were changed to allow a pilot who is pregnant to fly.  In 1990 she became the first woman to be promoted to Captain with a major Canadian air carrier. Throughout her career, she has made valuable and ongoing contributions to Canadian youth by participating in school career day. In 1990 she was featured in a poster campaign by the Alberta Government, Dream/Dare/Do", to encourage young people to set goals and strive to achieve them. She is a member of the Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.
Judy Camerson the first woman pilot hired by Air Canada.
Maryse Carmichael. A captain with the Canadian Air Force, Maryse had the job of VIP pilot flying the Prime Minister or the Governor General of Canada. In 2000 she became the first female pilot to fly with the Canadian Force's national aerobatic team, the Snowbirds.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Flaherty Born 1881(?) . Died October 18, 1968 Vancouver, British Columbia. She worked as a buyer for the girl’s clothing department of Spencer's department store. She flew as  a passenger on Trans-Canada Airlines' first cross-Canada flight. December. 16, 1931, when she was 50, she received her private pilot license making her the oldest female pilot in Canada. In 1936, she was the oldest charter member  of The Flying Seven Canadian Women Pilots. November 1936 the club was Canada’s first all women dawn to dusk flying patrol. They took off at 6:16 a.m. from the Vancouver airport. In 1940 the Flying Seven dropped pamphlets over Vancouver urging support for the Canadian war effort. During WWII, the club members were the first aerial woman’s training centre where they trained women in parachute packing, fabric work and other aspects of airplane care. Some of the trainees joined Boeing's Vancouver plant or the Royal Air Force's women's division. Sources: Vancouver Hall of Fame on line accessed December 2012. : Daring Lady Flyers by Joyce Spring; No Place for a Lady by Shirley Render: the British Columbia Aviation Hall of Fame on line accessed January 2013.
Marion Alice Orr (née Powell) Born Toronto, Ontario June 25, 1918. Died April 4, 1995. She was fascinated with planes and flying since as a child the family swing  was her 'flying machine". Earning $10.00 a week at her job, she ate very little and saved  each week to pay for her first flying lesson April 22, 1939. January 5, 1940 she received her private pilot's license and by December 1941 she had earned her commercial license. With the help of then husband 'Deke' Orr she received her instructors rating at Trenton , Ontario Royal Canadian Air Force base on September 25, 1942. The next month, October 1942 she became the first Canadian woman to operate a flying club when she was hired as manager and Chief Flying Instructor at the St Catherines Flying Club. During world War ll the Royal Canadian Air Force did not consider women as pilots and she ended up flying for the Air Transport Auxiliary of the British Royal Air Force. After the War she returned to Canada working as a flight instructor. In 1950 she became the first woman in Canada to own and operate a flying club. During her career as a flight instructor she would teach some 5,000 pilots. In the 1960's she became the first Canadian woman to be a licensed helicopter pilot. She was awarded the Ninety Nine Inc Medallion in 1976 in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the field of aviation. In 1981 she was named a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.
Molly Reilly.  Born Lindsay, Ontario February 25, 1922.  In 1939. Molly tried to sign up with the Royal Canadian Air Force, but they were not accepting women until 1941 when the Women’s’ Division was founded.  She was one of the first recruits and she worked in the photographic area to get to fly.  She learned to fly after the war and in 1959 became a full time charter pilot where she was the first woman in Canada be a captain.  She became the first woman to be a corporate pilot in Canada when she was Chief Pilot for Canadian Utilities Company. She is a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame.
Ellanne Roberge

She became interested in flying September 13, 1921 when an aeroplane, “The Polar Bear” arrived in Prince Rupert. The plane was being carried by train for a special flight from northern Canada back to Mexico. Unfortunately the plane was damaged in a windstorm while in Prince Rupert and the crafty Ellanne played hooky from school and obtained a souvenir of fabric torn from the wings of the aeroplane. She was hooked on flying! Ellanne too flight training in Montreal and  started flying in 1929  earning private pilot license no. 678.In 1936 she was a charter member of the famous Flying Seven Club. In November 1936 the women were Canada’s first all woman dawn to dusk flying patrol. In 1940 the Flying Seven dropped pamphlets over Vancouver urging support for the Canadian war effort. During the war the women ran the 1st woman’s aerial training centre training women in parachute packing  fabric work and other aspects of airplane care. Some of the trainees joined Boeing's Vancouver plant or the Royal Air Force's women's division. Sources: Vancouver Hall of Fame on line accessed December 2012. : Daring Lady Flyers by Joyce Spring; No Place for a Lady by Shirley Render: the British Columbia Aviation Hall of Fame on line accessed January 2013.

Alberta Margaret   Rutledge

(née Fane) Born Edmonton, Alberta April 3, 1914. Died December 2, 2004. As a child she always had her eyes scanning for aeroplanes. She was a female aviation pioneer who earned her pilots license in 1933 and her commercial pilot license in 1935. She organized the women pilots as the Vancouver Seven. At first the group was not allowed to participate in air shows but these determined pioneer women were soon showing audiences their skills. While working as a dispatcher for Bridge River and Caribou Airways she was often required to co-pilot flights making her the only woman commercial pilot in British Columbia.  When World War ll broke out the women attempted to join the Air Force as pilots or instructors but were only offered positions as cooks! Instead the women used their talents to raise money for training equipment and established their own flying school. In later years Margaret moved into administration at Canadian Pacific Airways where she worked for over 20 years.   In 1956 she married Keith Rutledge. Margaret Fane Rutledge was inducted the British Columbia Aviation Hall of Fame. Source: Margaret Fane Rutledge…by Tom Hawthorn. Globe and Mail January 5, 2005.

Eileen Vollick. Born Wiarton Ontario 1908. Fascinated by aviation from childhood this daring young woman enrolled in a Hamilton, Ontario, flying school On March 31 1928 she passed the federal aviation test and become the first Canadian woman to earn a private pilot's certificate. Eileen soon moved to New Your, U.S.A. to make her life but she had opened the doors of aviation to Canadian women who would embrace flying careers as licensed pilots.
   
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