Born in Waynesboro and reared in Macon, Hazel Raines soloed in 1938 and was a graduate of Wesleyan Conservatory. She received her private license the following year and became the first woman in Georgia to receive a commercial license, achieving an instructor's rating and qualifying as an Eastern Air Lines pilot. One of the few women in the United States chosen as an instructor for the Civilian Pilot Training Program, 1st prior to World War II, Raines was flight instructor at Cochran Field and a Fort Lauderdale aviation school until 1942. She was drafted by Jacqueline Cochran to join 24 other hand-picked aviatrixes as flight instructor and ferry pilot for the British Royal Air Force. Raines had logged more flight hours than any other member of the group which spent some 18 months on overseas duty. With organization of the WASPs, Raines returned to the States and joined the group, testing planes and towing targets until disbanding of the WASPs in late 1944. After World War II she taught theory of flight to Brazilian student pilots, lecturing five hours daily in Portuguese. Raines was a member of the Amelia Earhart's 99ers and a president of the WASP alumni. She received a reserve commission in the U. S. Air Force in 1949 and was called to active duty in 1950 with the Third Air Force. She died in London of a heart attack in 1956, having amassed 6,400 flying hours during 20 years as a pilot.
Hazel Raines was enshrined August 26, 1989, for her contributions to aviation in peace and war as Georgia's First Lady in Flight.