Baroness Raymonde de Laroche was praised for her bravery and boldness.In an era when it was uncommon to see women driving motor cars, the French actress Baroness Raymonde de Laroche made an unexpected leap to become the world’s first licensed female pilot.
Elise Raymonde Deroche was born on 22 August 1886. She was an actress at a young age and used the stage name “Raymonde de Laroche”. The title “Baroness” was just added by Flightmagazine in reporting her first flight. By the time she was 23 she had become a recognized actress, an accomplished balloonist, motor car driver and painter.
In 1909, Charles Voisin suggested to Raymonde Deroche , that she learn to fly an airplane. An offer she readily accepted. On March 8, 1910 de Laroche became the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s license when the Aero-Club of France issued her license #36 of the ”Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (International Aeronautics Federation or F.A.I.).
In July of the same year, she was the only female participant who took part in the AirMeet at Reims,France. Unfortunately, her airplane crashed and she suffered injuries.
After two years of recovery, she returned to her passion in flying events until the outbreak of World War I when all French female pilots were grounded for the duration. Returning to the air in 1919 she set two women’s altitude records and a women’s distance record. On 25 November 1913 de Laroche won the Aero-Club of France’s Femina Cup for a non-stop long-distance flight of over 4 hours duration.
She participated in the aviation meetings at Heliopolis, Budapest, Rouen, and Saint Petersburg.Baroness Raymonde de Laroche, a symbol of women empowerment, proved that women can also become a part of history. In aviation history that is!
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