75 years to the day
I flew CapeAir from Ogdensburg to Boston and returned on a CapeAir flight on the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance as she attempted to be the first woman to pilot a circumnavigation of the planet. I’ve got to tell you, I felt like I was flying with Amelia when first Chris, from Boston to Albany, and then Kira, from Albany to Ogdensburg served as the pilots. Both in their mid-twenties– each with a decade of flying experience–these two young women made me happy: this is what it’s all about. No big deal. Women pilots on a commercial airline…though I have to admit, it was a big deal for me.
I mentioned the experience to Brian Mann at a meeting the next day and he said he has had the same feeling flying CapeAir with young women often piloting. He said, for him, it seems tied to the advances achieved by women as Title IX opened up opportunities. In my mind, it’s linked with the fact that NCPR is still recognized by the federal government as a woman-managed broadcast entity. It’s great to get this recognition–and it’s great to feel pleased that young women are flying airplanes–but we know we still have some ground to cover if this is noteworthy rather than prosaic.
Well, I mostly wanted to share my pleasure with you–Kira and Chris were both terrific pilots–smooth sailing through somewhat rough skies, great landings. And, I wanted to thank CapeAir for providing an affordable transportation option for people of the region. The flight is spectacular, cutting diagonally across the Adirondacks, with every bump and creek visible, and every hidden wilderness laid out below you.
Tell me if you’re a woman pilot or if you’ve flown on woman-piloted aircraft.
Tags: capeair, title IX, transportation, women pilots
I recall watching a woman pilot with Cptn stripes on her blouse precede we passengers onto a 737 flying out of St. Louis International back in the early 80’s; yes that’s 30 years ago and I am certain she was far from the first that I flew with.
Hopefully the increased presence of women pilots is not because of airline corporate cost cutting. As I recall the right seater in the Bombardier Dash 8/Q400 that crashed on approach to Buffalo IA was a mid 20’s young woman who live out west (washington/oregon) with her parents because her low/mid $20K salary did not enable her to do otherwise. She had flown from the west cost to east coast (NJ) to fly right seat from Newark to Buffalo on an early morning flight, flying out of NJ about 21:20 hrs.
It would be interesting to see a follow on investigation into the pay and scheduling practices being afforded by the Airlines, towards the young women and men pilots, subsequent to the Buffalo approach crash. One would hope more equitable arrangements are now the norm; but, I would not bet on it.
I know a woman pilot who lives in Saranac Lake. She flew big jets for US Air until 9-11 creamed the airline industry.