Blue Skies and Tailwinds – Daphne Schiff

Sad to hear about the passing of long time First Canadian Chapter 99 member Daphne Schiff. Daphne was such an inspiration to other female pilots….Daphne wasn’t like most people. She raced around the globe in a twin-engine plane. She could pilot anything from a turboprop to a 737. She flew from France to Africa almost every autumn, even when she was 80 years old.

Daphne earned a BA in 1945 at Victoria College (because someone told her she couldn’t do it), then a master’s in chemistry in 1947 (take that!) at U of T. Does she feel she’s done anything special, being a woman in the male-dominated world of flying and one of the oldest certified pilots in Canada? “No.” Are people amazed by her? “People think I’m crazy – they’re probably right.”

She earned her pilot’s license in 1970 at the age of 46, and has flown in so many races – from the Round the World Race to the Transatlantic Air Race – that she’s lost count.

Dorothy and another FCC member, Adele Fogle, made yearly trips to the west coast of Africa for Paris-based Air Solidarité, a humanitarian-aid organization. Flying a single-engine plane from France to Mali, Algeria, Senegal and other countries, the women delivered pharmaceuticals and school supplies. They also checked the progress of Air Solidarité projects, including the building of schools and health clinics.

Daphne loved flying and came a long way from when she spent her first flying lesson clutching the arm of her instructor who, upon landing, told her husband, “She’ll never be a pilot.” “That’s when I decided to do it,” she said. She’s never looked back since – only down.

You are an inspiration to all of us who fly Daphne and will be remembered in our hearts.

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