In 1965 Rosemary Arnold became the first Australian female helicopter pilot, the first female helicopter pilot in the southern hemisphere and Whirly Girl No.99 In this episode listen in as Rosemary tells the story of her 50yr+ career in aviation.
It is a career full of firsts – as well as the above, Rosemary was the first Australian woman to own her own helicopter charter company, be appointed a Chief Pilot, perform a helicopter air-display and be a consultant to rescue helicopter committees.
Rosemary also founded the Helicopter Association of Australia and organised the first helicopter airshow in Australia.
At age 70 she completed a Bachelor of Aviation and the next week was back at the university as a lecturer in Aviation History.
In 2012 Rosemary was awarded the Nancy-Bird Walton Memorial Trophy “for the woman who has achieved the most noteworthy contribution to aviation in Australasia”.
As you’ll hear in this interview – at almost every step of her career Rosemary had to overcome challenges and obstacles in her path. It is a story and example of incredible resilience and self belief.
Now 80-something years young, she is still full of life and operates her marriage celebrant business offering couples the chance to tie the knot in a helicopter over Sydney Harbor Bridge. Rosemary has authored several books about her career and pioneering Australian female aviators.
In this week’s episode:
01:00 Helicopter Easter Egg Drops
01:50 World Helicopter Day 2016 – can you help?
03:11 Listener mailbag
05:10 Case of mistaken identity
05:50 Rosemary Arnold – first Australian female helicopter pilot
08:00 First flying experience in a Sunderland flying boat – Gordon Peter Taylor
12:30 Taking flying lessons (fixed wing)- in secret
15:10 My god a woman pilot we’ll all be killed
16:00 Bell 47 J2A – hot pink uniform and floral paint scheme ‘Triple Happy Helicopter’
19:50 Following of joy ride passengers
21:00 Taking helicopter lessons – Licence no. 10
26:40 Media coverage and Whirly Girls
29:25 First commercial Hughes 500 helicopters and trip across USA
32:51 Gas turbine course
34:10 Denied endorsements by DAA (early version of CASA)
35:40 Solo’ing in the Bell 47 and CoG issues solved by carrying dog
38:35 Challenging weather and getting over the range
41:10 Hovering waiting for storm to pass
44:40 Other pilots and meteorologist backed up in court
47:50 Episode Sponsors trainmorepilots.com
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