DNR's First Female Pilot Has Historical Counterpart

Ninety Years After Cora Fuller, Jessica Holmes Takes Wing - By Tom Foster


October 1, 2021

Photo Courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Jessica Holmes did several internships at the DNR, so accepting a permanent opportunity was a no-brainer. Now based in Grand Rapids, she is focused on maintaining habitat for game species of all types.

Cora Fuller trained in a Stinson "Detroiter" to become the first Minnesota woman to receive a pilot's certificate after 30 hours of instruction at the Fairmont Airport.

The Detroiter was a rather sophisticated airplane in an era when most training was done in open cockpit biplanes with two seats.

The aircraft was a four-seat monoplane with an enclosed cabin.

Ninety years later, Jessica Holmes became the first female pilot to fly for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Fuller was an accountant and golfer, in addition to being an aviator.

When not flying the DNR's American Cha...

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