Canada's first woman pilot

June 16, 2015

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Eileen Vollick was born in Wiarton, Ontario in 1908 and, in 1911 moved with her family to Hamilton.

She became fascinated with the 'flying machines' that often flew overhead and watched with anticipation as Hamilton Airport was being built.

She took up a career as a textile analyst but her interest in aviation never wavered.  At first, she ventured into parachuting and then began flying lessons under Leonard J. Tripp at Jack V. Elliot's Flying Services in a Curtiss JN-4 ... the 'Jennie'.

Vollick was petite weighing only 89 pounds at 5ft.1in.  What she lacked in stature she made up in ability and determination.

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'Flying Jenny'

Her first solo was in February 1928, when she took off from the ice of Hamilton Bay in a ski-equipped JN-4.  She took her federal flight test on March 13, 1928 and became the first woman in Canada to be issued a pilot's licence.

Vollick died in 1968 in New York. 

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015