Lady Pilots

Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 04, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Illinois
Friday, June 4, 2010

 Occasionally I have the opportunity as a flight attendant to sit in the left seat which is the captain's chair or the right seat which is the first officer's chair. Females are increasing moving to the male dominated pilot career, especially at American Eagle and other regional airlines. Women are finally becoming captains not just first officers. Why is this happening? 

 There is a pilot shortage that is worldwide. Pilots are in high demand. Recruitment has opened up to women because of this shortage. Some flight attendants at American Eagle have gone back to school and become pilots. So women are moving from lower paying careers in the back of the plane to the front seats. Each time I go to work, I see more women pilots. It gives me a sense of pride to fly with female pilots. 
American Eagle has currently about 5 or 6 women captains. They are all on reserve which means they don't have a regular schedule or a life. However, they are earning the salaries of a captain which is much better than flight attendant pay in the back of the plane.

So ladies if you are thinking about becoming a flight attendant, think again the pilot seat is wide open for you. Lady pilots can afford there own apartments, while flight attendants must live together in crash pads on first year pay. This is definitely the decade of the women moving forward into higher paying careers in the front of the plane.

Don't let the cost of educating yourself stop you. Where there is a will there is a way. There are organizations that provide scholarships. Network by attending the conventions for women in aviation. 

I saw for my first time a female flight crew. The captain, first officer and flight attendant were all females. Wow is American Eagle breaking new ground or what?

 I happened to meet Captain Tina McWilliams as she made history first day as an Embraer Air Captain by flying with First Officer Kelly Caspers. She is one of five or six women pilots at American Eagle. See photo.

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alicia pierre on

Yay Lady Pilots! That's awesome. Thank you for sharing about this.


vernon williams on

hope this note finds you well, i appreciate the updates, this is great! i send these to the kids for inspiration. stay safe!


dave on

clearing up the details:
" Occasionally I have the opportunity as a flight attendant to sit in the right seat which is the captain's chair or the left seat which is the first officer's chair."
The Captain's seat is the left one, the First Officer's is the right one.

"Pilots can afford their own apartments while Flight Attendants must live in crash pads with room mates"

At most regional, national and start up airlines, flight attendants make the same money or in some cases - more- than the new hire pilots.

Starting salary for a new pilot is only 18,000 dollars - below the poverty level in most parts of this country and tops out at 50-70 after 18-20 years.
There is no longer real retirement (thanks to all the bankruptcies) for pilots so a portion of your salary must be used to fund your own "nest egg".
Training for a pilot can be obtained for as low as $35,000 or as high as $110,000 depending on the source and quality of the training. This must be obtained before applying for a pilot job.

A flight attendant is trained by the company and requires no experience of any kind before coming to work.

A pilot must have at least 500 hrs right now but if the FAA and Congress get their way 1500 hrs of experience before applying for an airline job at an income level lower than the First Officer rate at all airlines is what they have to look forward to.

An airline job isnt all it is cracked up to be!

Spend the money on a degree in accounting, medicine or law and have the potential of a real career with real benefits and retirement.

skychi on


Thanks for clearing that up for me. I still think that becoming a pilot is a great career that is now open for women.

skychi on

Thank you Vernon for reading my posts. I do hope that your kids enjoy them. Please post and share your facebook page.



skychi on

Hi Alicia,

I am glad that you enjoyed the info. Please share with others.



Joe on

There is NOT a shortage of pilots by the way, many airlines still have hundreds of pilots on furlough, and very few airlines are hiring. American Eagle has many more than 5 female captains too, heck I've flown with at least 7 just out of Dallas

skychi on

Thanks for the update.

Slawek B=737 on

It give your me Facebook Bennie Hicks /please,please,please ,please ( ) :-))))

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