1910: First Woman to Receive a Pilot’s License

1910: First Woman to Receive a Pilot’s License

Story Highlights

  • Historical date:
  • 8. March 1910
  • She was almost the same age as the famous Coco Chanel. She appeared in aviation meetings throughout Europe. Apparently she was personally congratulated by Tsar Nicholas II on one such occasion in Russia.

On this day, a woman received an airplane pilot’s license for the first time in history. Her birth name was Elise Raymonde Deroche, but she was also known under the pseudonym “Baroness Raymonde de Laroche”. She was born in Paris in 1882 (the same year that Virginia Woolf, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and James Joyce were born). She was only around one year younger than Coco Chanel.

Elise Raymonde DeRoche was the daughter of a plumber, and she began using the pseudonym “Baroness Raymonde de Laroche” apparently as a part of her acting career. She started flying in 1909, when she was 27 years old. On this day in 1910 she received a pilot’s license with the serial number 36 from the French aero-club (Aero-Club de France).

She appeared in aviation meetings throughout Europe. Apparently she was personally congratulated by Tsar Nicholas II on one such occasion in Russia. During the First World War she did not fly in warplanes, but she served as a military driver in the French Army.

Sadly, she died at the age of 36 years on a test flight to France. Women of Aviation Worldwide celebrate Raymonde de Laroche, especially since the date of her obtaining a pilot license (March 8) coincides with International Women’s Day.

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