news and events » obituaries

Obituaries Header


return to Obituaries

Mary Barr ( Pilot )

posted: Mar 12, 2010

Mary, who in 1974 became the first female pilot for the Forest Service, died March 1, 2010, at her daughter’s home in New Orleans. She learned to fly a Piper Cub in 1944 and moved to New York to attend aircraft mechanic’s school during WWII. Mary served as a FAA Pilot Examiner and Accident Prevention Counselor in addition to her career with the USFS. Gary Johnson (RDD-69) said that Mary flew jumpers for a short time at Redding. In 1964 she was one of the first four women to compete in the Reno Air Races. Mary continued to fly for pleasure until age 75.
Mary flew for the USFS as a lead plane pilot before moving to the Regional Office in San Francisco as Aviation Safety Officer. She then went to the Washington Office as National FS Aviation Safety Officer before returning to California as Regional Aviation Officer in Sacramento until she retired. Mary was inducted into the International Women in Aviation Pioneer Hall of Fame in 2001.