Here is a collection of recent inspirational stories about female pilots and female pilot firsts:
Kate Moran: One of Britain’s Female Airline Pilots. The Daily Mail has recently profiled Kate Moran, who graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Aviation Technology and is now one of Britain’s youngest airline pilots working for Devon-based airline Flybe. The article also noted that October 2011 figures showed that a direct entry captain for Flybe can earn up to £82,000 verses £81,509 with Easyjet and £65,000 with Emirates.
America’s First Female Zeppelin Pilot. General Aviation News has reported that Andrea Deyling has joined Airship Ventures in the San Francisco Bay area to become America’s first female Zeppelin pilot. Deyling has been training on the Zeppelin Eureka since November 2011 and officially earned her Zeppelin qualification this month (For more information about airship flights in the Bay Area, visit AirshipVentures.com).
First Chinese Woman in Space. Liu Yang, a 33 year-old pilot in the People’s Liberation Army, has become the first Chinese woman and the 56th woman to go into space as part of the three member crew of the Shenzhou 9 mission. Major Liu enrolled in the air force in 1997 and is married – a requirement for all of China’s female astronauts. She was also named a “model pilot” by the PLA in 2010 and first demonstrated her coolness under pressure back in 2003 by safely landing an aircraft after its right engine had been disabled when it was struck by birds after take-off.
Ghana’s Female Pilots. The Voice of America has a short article about Ghana’s first female pilots. Among the pilots profiled was Patricia Mawuli who was nineteen years old and had just finished high school when she saw her first airplane.
The Nigerian Air Force Decorates First Female Pilot. Back in April, the Nigerian Air Force decorated its first female pilot, Flying Officer Blessing Liman, along with 29 other male pilots. Apparently, Liman is the first female military-pilot in all of West Africa.
First and Only Afghani Female Helicopter Pilot. The Women, Economics and Politics blog has a profile of Col. Latifa Nabizada, the first and only military pilot in the history of Afghani aviation. Back in 1980, Latifa and her sister, Lailuma, were the first female graduates from the Afghan Air force Academy but Lailuma later died at child-birth. Latifa was then forced to flee to Pakistan when the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in 1996 and she returned after they were ousted to rejoin the the air force. However and since the Afghan air force has no child-care facilities, Latifa has been flying with her daughter in the co-pilot seat.
Never Too Late to Learn How to Fly. Finally, the Mail Tribune in Southern Oregon has a story about Nancy Meyer – no ordinary licensed student pilot as she happens to be 74 years old and only began flying about 20 months ago. Apparently, learning how to fly has been on her checklist and she noted that:
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to have my own television show — I had it. I wanted to be a newscaster — did that. I wanted to be a fashion model — I’ve done that. I wanted to have kids — did that.
Her husband of 55 years, Dave Meyer, who is also a retired lieutenant colonel with 7,000 hours in the cockpit, including in B-52 bombers, says he will be her passenger one day….