Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First All-Black Female Flight Crew Flies To Nashville

After I read this story I realized I have never seen a black female pilot at my airline....a few black Captains and First Officers....lots of Flight Attendants....but no pilots. Pretty neat that it happened totally by chance.


Posted By: Michael King

Reported By: Brenda Wood


ATLANTA -- Four African American women made history this month when they took an ASA flight from Atlanta to Nashville. They weren't passengers. They were the nation's first all black all female flight crew.

Meet airline captain Rachelle Jones, first officer Stephanie Grant, and flight attendants Diana Galloway and Robin Rogers. When they worked that ASA flight from Atlanta to Nashville they never expected to make history. In fact, it was a matter of chance.

"The first officer became ill and was replaced with Stephanie," said Galloway.

"When I got to the cockpit and I saw Rachelle -- we just met a few weeks prior," Grant said. "And I was just ecstatic when I saw her in there."

"We did not realize the historic ramifications of it," Rogers said. "We were just like, okay this is gonna be fun."

But Captain Rachelle Jones got it right away. She and Grant in the cockpit, Galloway and Rogers in the cabin -- all black, all female.

"I said this could be a first, so let's be on our P's and Q's," Jones said.

"I think we had a little more pep in our step," said Galloway. "I think we were just so proud."

They took a lot pictures because their history just happened to be during Black History Month.

"I'm still tingling about it," said Rogers. "This is great. It's spectacular."

"It still hasn't hit me now," said Jones. "I was just excited. I called my mom, my family and said guess what happened today."

Jones is one of only ten black female airline captains in the country. She used to be a customer service agent for Delta. Piloting was never on her radar until a friend suggested it.

"And it paid off -- and this was my goal -- to be here where I am today," she said. "And I'm so happy at what I've accomplished."

As little girls, they'd never seen anyone who looked like them piloting a plane. Now for other little girls, they're proof you really can be whatever you want to be.

"Fate may have a little bit to do with it, but for everyone that will look at us as role models or look to aspire to be what we are today, they need to know that it was hard work and dedication to get here," Grant said.

"Young girls need to see that yes they can be flight attendants and yes they can be pilots," said Jones. "The sky is the limit."

Atlantic Southeast Airlines has three black female pilots. Only one has made Captain so far.

People are invited to congratulate the crew at http://www.flyasa.com/contact/crew-contact.php

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking to myself last year about never have seen a black female airline pilot. I did find a picture of Rachelle Jones on facebook. This is cool though. I hope I make it one day.


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