This film is part of Free

Lady Pilots

Talented women become mistresses of the skies.

Non-Fiction 1935 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive

Overview

These aviatrices are Ladies by birth, marriage and outstanding achievement. They pursue careers in flying at that time a preserve of the rich and famous. Pauline Gower is born Pauline Mary de Peauly who in 1931 in Kent set up an air taxi service run just by women. She becomes a flying instructor and is responsible for establishing and running the women's section of the Air Transport Auxiliary where civilian pilots are used to move war planes from one airfield to another.

Dorothy Spicer is the first woman to hold all four Air Ministry Ground Engineer’s licences at a time when women are banned from attending technical college; she uses her aeronautical engineering degree to tour as ground crew for Alan Cobham's Flying Circus. Lady Victor Bruce becomes the first woman to fly solo around the world in 1931; the first to fly from England to Japan and across the Yellow Sea. Winifred Spooner is the the winner of the Harmon Trophy as the standout aviatrix of 1929. Irish aviatrix Lady Mary Bailey is the first woman to fly across the Irish Sea and also sets a world's height record. She is awarded Dame Commander of the British Empire for her 8,000 mile solo flight from Croydon to Cape Town.