Tag: black female pilots

Captain Tara Wright and First Officer Mallory Cave Make Alaska Airlines History as its 1st African-American Female Flight Crew

Captain Tara Wright and 1st Officer Mallory Cave of Alaska Airlines (photo via ktva.com)

via ktva.com

Alaska Airlines marked a milestone on Mother’s Day, as one of its West Coast flights became the first to be flown by two black women.

Tara Wright, the captain of Flight 361 from San Francisco to Portland, stepped out of the cockpit to introduce herself and first officer Mallory Cave to passengers before their Boeing 737’s Sunday takeoff.

After mentioning that Sunday was Mother’s Day, as well as her father’s 80th birthday, Wright sprung her surprise in a Facebook video.

“Finally, you’re sharing a pretty interesting piece of Alaska Airlines history this morning,” she told passengers, who began bursting into applause. “You’ll be piloted by two female African-American pilots for the first time in the airline’s history.”

Alaska Airlines – which was formed in a 1932 merger and took its current name in 1944 – subsequently shared Wright’s video to its Facebook page. Its post called the moment “history in the flying,” adding that Wright and Cave were following in the footsteps of Bessie Coleman — America’s first black woman to make a public flight in 1922.

Sunday’s flight has special relevance in the airline industry, where more than 72 percent of employees are white and 60 percent are male according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 2015 breakdown of airline data from the bureaushowed even greater diversity issues among flight crews, in which 91 percent of airline pilots and 73 percent of flight attendants were white; just 9 percent of pilots were female, versus nearly 75 percent of flight attendants.

Airline officials declined to discuss details Thursday on the racial or gender diversity of its pilot corps, which includes nearly 2,000 pilots with Alaska and almost 840 more flying with Virgin America after it was acquired by Alaska in 2016.

To read more, go to: http://www.ktva.com/story/38218189/alaska-airlines-sees-first-ever-black-female-flight-crew

Asante Mahapa, South Africa’s 1st Black Female Pilot, Inspires Girls to Aim High

Asnath Mahapa is South Africa’s first African female pilot. (photo via cnn.com)

article by Hira Humayan, Amanda Sealy, CNN and Phoebe Parke, for CNN via cnn.com

Asnath Mahapa was fascinated by planes as a teenager, little did she know she would break boundaries with them by becoming South Africa’s first African female pilot.

“It just dawned on me that those big things that we see in the skies, someone is actually in charge of them,” she told CNN. “I thought if someone can fly this thing, that means I can also do it.”

Mahapa, whose father didn’t want her to become a pilot, overcame a number of obstacles before she took to the skies.  “When I told my father I wanted to become a pilot, he never even entertained the idea, ” she explained.

Challenging route to success

She enrolled in a course in electrical engineering at the University of Cape Town in line with her father’s wishes, only to drop out a year later. She later started flight school, which came with it’s own set of challenges.

“I was the only woman in my class the whole time,” she said. “I had to work very hard. I had to probably work ten times harder than the men that I was with in the classroom.”

Mahapa also felt sick the first few times she took to the skies. But that didn’t stop her. “My first time, I felt sick,” she said. “I was persistent, I went back again, I went back until I stopped feeling sick.”

Her hard work and determination paid off and in 1998 she broke barriers by taking to the skies as the first female African pilot in South Africa.

“I didn’t know I was the first black woman until 2003, until about four years later. And I was still the only one at the time and I did not know,” she said.  “Before I knew it I was on TV, front page of newspapers, and that came as a shock because I was still young, I was 22 at the time, I was very young.”

Charting a new course

Mahapa was not content with just breaking barriers, she wanted to train and inspire a new generation of pilots, so in 2012 she opened the African College of Aviation.

“For me, it’s about trying to help women who aspire to become pilots,” she said. “I still see a lot of black women going through the same things that I went through at that time. They still struggle to get jobs after they qualify.

“Most of them they struggle with finances because it’s a very expensive industry.” In addition to cost, according to Mahapa the field is still very male dominated, something she is committed to change.

To read full article and see video, go to: South Africa’s first black female pilot inspiring girls to aim high – CNN.com

Air Zimbabwe Makes History With 1st All-Female Flight Crew

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Captain Chipo M. Matimba and Captain Elizabeth Simbi Petros (photo via Facebook)

Air Zimbabwe made aviation history with its first all-women flight crew on Saturday. Captain Chipo M. Matimba and Captain Elizabeth Simbi Petros safely flew Flight 737 from Harare To Victoria Falls.

This moment comes right after a Niger woman, Lieutenant Ouma Laouali, became the first female pilot to serve in the country’s Armed Forces.

After the flight, Captain Simbi Petros, wrote on her Facebook page, “Air Zim First:- All Women 737 Flight Deck Crew!!!! Flt to Vic Falls This Morning. Was A pleasure Skipper Chipo Matimba!!!!!!”

The excited captains posted pictures on Facebook of the awesome moment:

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article by Keyaira Kelly via hellobeautiful.com