HerStory Archive

JACKSON, Frances

Also known as: nee Hyatt

Special Achievements:

1930 - First Tasmanian woman to become a pilot.
First woman to fly from Goulburn to Mascot and return.  

Additional Information:

Born in 1908, as a teenager, Frances Hyatt lived with her family at Dunalley and used to ride a horse along the coast to get the closest possible views of post WWI seaplanes exercising over Norfolk and Frederick Henry Bays.  She thought it would be tremendous to learn to fly.

 In 1930 she married Mr Jackson and was living at Murdunna.  The same year she was accepted as a student by the Goulburn Aero Club in NSW.

 Here Frances was flying solo after only eight instructional flights and graduated top of the nine women on the course.  She also became the first woman to do a return flight from Goulburn to Mascot, achieved despite bad weather.  She gained her private pilot’s licence on 22 December 1930 aged 22, the first Tasmanian woman to do so.  One of the other girls who graduated at the same time was 18 year old Miss Rebe Griffiths, who went on to be the first Victorian and 3rd and youngest Australian to gain her commercial B class licence in 1931.

 Frances was apparently popular with Tasmanian crowds with one newspaper reporting in 1932, “Mrs Jackson, five feet nothing of Australian womanhood, thrilled the crowds, tossing her machine around with fearless skill”.  She gave up flying at the peak of her career in 1938 following the death of her husband.  She later remarried Mr Nicholls and was living in Nubeena in the 1970s.


Resources

  • Image - France Jackson in flying gear standing beside plane

    Source: NPWHF Collection. Donor: Anna Schmidt.


  • Image - Inscription on back of photo:Captain Herbert, Miss Griffiths, Myself, Les Scholz

    This photo was taken when Frances was learning to fly at Goulburn Aero Club, New South Wales in 1930. Les Scholz was the son of the owner of the club. His brother Russell married Rebe Griffiths, first woman in Victoria to gain her commercial flying licence who also trained at Goulburn.

    Source: NPWHF Collection. Donor: Anna Schmidt.


  • Image - VH UGT plane with two pilots in cockpit

    Inscription on back of photo: This is the plane I’m training in Captain Herbert and Les Scholz in cockpit.

    Source: NPWHF Collection. Donor: Anna Schmidt.


  • References

    Baddeley, Claire.  (2018).  Francis Jackson – Tasmanian aviatrix.  In Papers and Proceedings, Volume 65, No. 1, April 2018.  (pp. 4-11).  Sandy Bay, Tasmania:  Tasmanian Historical Research Association.