Hilda Hewlett owned and ran a flying school at Brooklands motor racing circuit in Surrey. She learned to fly there and on August 29th 1911, at the age of 47, became the first British woman to be issued with a pilot’s licence. Hilda taught her Naval officer son to fly later the same year.
On August 29th 2011, Bank Holiday Monday, the British Women Pilots Association is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Hilda’s landmark achievement by promoting a nationwide ‘Women in the Air’ day.
Over 260 flying schools and clubs nationwide have been invited to encourage more women to get involved in aviation in whatever capacity and also to get as many women airborne on the day itself as possible.
Many clubs are offering free flights for women, others have competitions planned, and yet others are offering free t-shirts and meal vouchers. If you are a woman in England on August 29th and always wondered what it would be like to fly, this is your day.
For more information, please visit the British Women Pilots Association website. To learn more about the history of British women pilots, please read “Celebrating 100 years of British Women Pilots” by Caroline Gough-Cooper.