Remembering “Georgia’s First Lady in Flight” During Women’s History Month

PEACHTREE CITY, USA – Aventure Aviation is celebrating Womens History Month by calling attention to Hazel Jane Raines, a pioneer in women’s aviation and a native of the U.S. State of Georgia. She has been inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement, and the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame as “Georgia’s First Lady in Flight.” 

Raines was born on April 21, 1916 in Waynesboro, about 150 miles East of Atlanta. She became the first woman in Georgia to earn a pilot’s license in 1938, and was one of the few women instructors for the U.S. Civilian Pilot Training Program. It lasted from 1938 to 1944 with the stated purpose of increasing the number of civilian pilots, though having a clear impact on the country’s military preparedness.

During World War II, she was part of the first group of American women to fly military aircraft, doing so in a war zone for the civilian British Air Transport Auxiliary. 

After the war, she taught instrument training in Brazil. When President Harry S. Truman authorized the integration of women into the military, she served with the U.S. Airforce’s Women in the Air Force (WAF), and was based in Texas, Alabama, and finally London until her death in 1956.

This past November, UK-based aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce opened a 62,000-square-foot facility support center in Savannah, Georgia named after this Georgia-born pioneer in women’s aviation.

“It’s exciting and empowering to see the new Rolls-Royce center named after Hazel Jane Raines, a fellow Georgian and a woman pioneer in aviation,” said Rachel Inestroza, Aventure Aviation Government Sales Representative. “With March being Women’s History Month, it’s important to look back and celebrate the achievements of the women who not only paved the way for other women, but also for society as a whole.”

Sketch drawing of women’s aaviation pioneer Hazel Jane Raines on a sky background