The Australian Air League would like to recognise and pay tribute to Mrs Senja Robey BEM, who passed away yesterday (14th April 2020) aged 93.
Senja was an Australian aviation pioneer, having begun her flying training in 1949 on DH82 Tiger Moths at the Royal Aero Club of NSW. In that year Senja was also invited by Nancy Bird-Walton to attend a meeting of women pilots as Mascot and she became a founding member of the Australian Women Pilots Association (AWPA) twelve months later.
Senja qualified for her Commercial Pilot Licence in 1953 and the following year she married Mr Keith Robey, a fellow pilot. Keith was the son of Australian Air League founder George Robey and was also the very first cadet, enrolled in the Air League in 1934.
In 1962 Senja obtained her instructor rating and began instructing at the Illawarra Flying School at Bankstown where her husband was the Chief Flying Instructor. She later started her own charter and aerial photography company and was also a partner, flying instructor and charter pilot at Robey Air and instructor with Phoenix Aero Club located at Camden, NSW.
During her many years of flying Senja mentored thousands of pilots and accrued almost 14,000 flight hours. She was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in 1976, was inducted into the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014 and last year was awarded the Col Pay Award for a Lifetime of Service to General Aviation.
More information about Senja’s remarkable career can be found at the Australian Aviation Hall of Fame.