Mae Haizlip, like many other women pilots, learned to fly from her husband. James Haizlip was a pilot in WW I. He was famous as a racing pilot and had a flying school. Mae also was a successful pilot and won many races. Jimmy didn’t like his wife as a pilot. His opinion was so much like so many other men in 1920’s and 1930’s but Mae continued to fly.
Jimmy and Mae soon began to fly in many races in all over the country. Both won races. Of course, Mae could only enter races for women. It wasn’t till 1936 that women could enter air races with male pilots. The Haizlip’s were talented pilots but it was Mae who like her husband Lloyd O’Donnell flew planes as a hobby. Soon he decided to make aviation his full-time work. He opened the O’Donnell School of Flying. Gladys was scared that something would happen to her husband leave her a widow with two young children. After Lindbergh’s flight Gladys caught the fire to fly. She knew that she must learn to fly. She and her husband formed the O’Donnell Flying Circus. The “Flying Circus” was popular during the time between the world wars. This was the time of “barnstorming.” She and Gladys performed many acrobatic tricks. This was a very dangerous time and many pilots.
Achievements and Records:
- Second woman to receive a commercial license.
- Women’s speed record for seven years.
- Second highest money winner man or women in the National Air Races.
- Charter member of the 99 aviation organization for women.
- She became 99’s Executive Committee
- Air Marking Chairman.
- Came in 7th place omen’s Air Race
- Test pilot
- several aircraft companies. Women never were hired for these positions. Men didn’t believe that women were to be trusted to fly these planes.
- Won second place 7th place in the All-Women’s Transcontinental Air Race.
- Set a new speed record of 252 miles per hour.
- First woman to be hired as traffic manager of a major airline.
Mae didn’t fly for the glory but to show others that women they could excel in areas that previously were a man’s world. That’s why my blog is titled They Dared To Fly In A Man’s World.