Lady Heath, born Sophie Pierce Evans in Limerick. For a five-year period from the mid-1920s, pilot Lady Mary Heath was one of the best-known women in the world. It was an era when everyone had gone aviation mad, she was the first woman to parachute and the first woman to gain a commercial pilot’s licence. In 1928 Lady Heath made front-page news worldwide as the first pilot ever, male or female, to fly a small, open cockpit plane solo from Cape Town
Famous women pilots preparing to take part in the 1934 Memorial Day air races at Dycer Airport. In front row kneeling is Gladys O’Donnell, who last year entered seven races and won six. Seated is Ruth Elder, famous flying beauty. Standing left to right: Kay Van Doozer, Myrtle D. Mims and Clema Granger.