At a very young age Ms. Dowling, who is from Denmark, knew that she was going to be a pilot. As a young woman she immigrated to Britain where she worked a number of odd-jobs to save money to take flying lessons. She learned to fly on a Gypsy Moth. After she passed her pilots training, she was involved with transporting aircraft from factories to airfields during World War II. At the end of the war she came to Alberta, where she continued to fly and became a civil flying school instructor in Edmonton.