Nancy Bird Walton

14 Jan

bird-walton_lomax_200 You may have seen the news: Aviation pioneer Nancy-Bird Walton dies.

She was the first pupil of  aviation great Charles Kingsford Smith when he founded a flying school in 1933. But she was so short she needed two cushions to see out of the cockpit and reach the foot pedals.

The first woman to gain a commercial pilot’s licence in Australia, she was named a Living National Treasure in 1997.

She did considerably more: Nancy Bird-Walton, O.B.E (1915-2009). The photo is from that site.

I am privileged to have met her in the late 1960s when I was teaching at Cronulla High School. She came one day as a guest of the school. The principal had a talent for attracting interesting speakers. I remember we also had Sir Edmund Hillary, and the Wayside Chapel’s founder Ted Noffs.


One response to “Nancy Bird Walton

  1. Leah

    January 22, 2009 at 1:31 am

    ‘the engine is the heart of the aeroplane, but the pilot is its soul’. no person embodied this saying more than nancy. A wonderful character who has made some incredible achievements, i reccommend ‘flying sheilas’ documentary, recently released and a fitting tribute to nancy, She will be missed!

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