Canadian Aviatrix #64 – Iva Coutts (1915-1993)

Iva Jean Coutts was born on 16 February 1915 in Newdale, Manitoba, to John Albert Coutts (a farmer) and Jeanie MacDonald.

1911 census

1921 census

1926 census

Marquette MB

Winnipeg MB

Winnipeg MB

John

33

45

48

Jean

24

34

41

Kathleen

-

9

14

Iva

-

6

11

 

Iva worked as a stenographer for the Milk Control Board.

On 6 June 1939, Iva passed her flying test and received her PPL, making her the 64th female pilot in Canada. She was 24 years old.

Canadian Aviatrix #64 – Iva Coutts (1915-1993) 

Photo: The Winnipeg Tribune (December 23, 1939)

On 29 February 1940, Iva became the 11th women to hold a commercial pilot’s license in Canada

Iva was too short for the Air Transport Auxiliary, but she flew throughout the war – short rides testing aircraft and ferrying planes to Fargo, North Dakota for servicing. She worked part-time for the Winnipeg Flying Club, while keeping her job as an executive secretary, and flew until 1968.

Iva never married, but was close friends with Fredrick James Friend (known as Jim) after his wife died.

Iva died in 1993, aged 78.

The First 100 Canadian Women Pilots