View Full Version : Female pilots at Ryanair???

11th Dec 2004, 14:45
Heard at work

I've heard of a group of ten people, all rated on the 737. Nine of them were called for interviews and simulator tests. The tenth was a female and not called.
Are these normal procedures at Ryanair?

11th Dec 2004, 15:12

only 4 female pilots in whole company...

11th Dec 2004, 16:08
What would be the norm for Large European or U.S. Airlines ..... (Guys to Gals Pilot ratio)

11th Dec 2004, 18:21
The company I work for gets 1 application from a female for every 100 pilot applications made. Not sure if this is typical or not, but it is fair to say that we are not a standard scheduled service airline, and we are not so well known as (say) BA or Virgin.

However, the applications we get are from people really interested in joining us, and the fact that only one in 100 is female does say something.

Hopeful Pilot
11th Dec 2004, 18:31
This hardly seems an issue to worry about. Woman are often hired by airlines to simply fill quotas. Airlines want more women on their rosters to remain “politically correct”. If anything you have a better chance at obtaining a job as a woman.

11th Dec 2004, 18:46
Not long ago I saw a complet female Crew on a LH 737.


(Edit due to "not part of the subject")

11th Dec 2004, 18:52
Two or three times I've been the only man in a crew of ten. But finally we made it...

Global Pilot
11th Dec 2004, 18:53
Chickenscan fly...the figure for RYR is more like 17 female line pilots of which 4 are skippers.

Ifix planes..congratulations on the sucessful relationship you have developed with your female flight crew!!!

11th Dec 2004, 19:36
Recently I was briefing a contractor (a senior manager in his large, publicly quoted organisation) for some proposed work on the airport.
I guess he was in his late 30s, and his entire career had been spent in civil engineering.
While we were talking a the crew of a LR45 called for start and the clearance, a female voice - the contractor went very quiet, and eventually he said "Was that the Stewardess?".
I explained that, not only was it a lady pilot, but it was an all female crew, and that this was quite common.

After seeing the aircraft take off, and much grinding of what, in theory, should be a very intelligent brain, he said, "OK, I see that to meet equality legislation a token woman is allowed on the flight deck, but they don't let women fly the big ones do they?".

At that moment, my relief colleague, who is also my watch manager, entered the tower to take over from me, how I wish I had a camera when I introduced her to him. :rolleyes:

11th Dec 2004, 22:40

At our company I reckon at least 10% are female pilots...

(european, little more than a hundred flightdeck employees)

Loose rivets
12th Dec 2004, 01:39
Huh….I suppose I witnessed a pivotal point in aviation history.

I stepped out of my seat in a DC3 to ride shotgun to a very nice lady who was the first woman ‘airline pilot’ in the free world. One of our captains resigned in protest—or so he said—and the press who met the aircraft in the early hours, (Germany and Denmark) all asked the same question. Will you wear skirt or trousers?

12th Dec 2004, 19:20


There are more than 4 female pilots in FR. :p

13th Dec 2004, 06:29
if there are 14 female pilots in FR....what percentage of the total pilots does that make?

13th Dec 2004, 07:30

You should have shown him this:


The lady is the Captain and this is their award citation, in part:

For their collective outstanding act of courage and devotion to duty in the course of a sea rescue, the crew members of Rescue 193 are awarded the Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award by the Guild Of Air Pilots And Air Navigators.

more here (http://www.fleetairarmoa.org/pages/news/news.htm) down the page a bit.

Edited in light of the next post - amazingly no mention is made of Flt Lt Everitt in the full citation.

13th Dec 2004, 11:09

"Sole" pilot - yep apart from the very experienced RAF SAR Captain stood next to her - Flt Lt Everitt.

Never check, assume...

Airbus Girl
13th Dec 2004, 11:47
Hopeful pilot, I think you might be "hopeful" for quite a while with your ignorance of airlines, recruiting procedures and female pilots.

Around 3% of commercial licence holders are female. In the UK I think BA is the only airline that meets or exceeds 3% female pilots. If there were positive discrimination every airline would exceed 3%.

Until very recently there were UK airlines with no female pilots.

I believe in the UK there are no pilot managers or chief pilots who are female.

Positive discrimination towards women is both not allowed and also does not happen. You have a very low opinion of (male) Chief Pilots if you think they would offer a job to someone who does not meet the selection standard, purely because they were female.

Homework for Hopeful Pilot - contact all UK airlines and report back to us with the percentage of pilots who are female, at each airline.

13th Dec 2004, 15:02
Airbus Girl...

I can't remember her name, but I'm pretty sure the chief pilot at FRA in Hurn is female (standing by to be corrected).

The Greaser
13th Dec 2004, 15:41
Over 40 female pilots at another large low cost carrier out of about 1150. Makes about 3%

13th Dec 2004, 17:30
Airbus Girl:

My company used to have a 7% ratio of female pilots but they either got pregnant or joined other companies (including one who stupidly joined BA).

Is not the Chief A-300 Trainer in Channex a lady?

Joyce Tick
13th Dec 2004, 18:05
I suppose letting us fly is one thing - but heaven forbid we ever become training captains. That would be
worse than female bishops!

13th Dec 2004, 18:18
I think its important to discriminate between those fine FEMALE pilots and the masses of male pilots that bitch like girls from the minute they get in the crew room. From their rostas to their careers etc.

Luke SkyToddler
13th Dec 2004, 18:40
The Chief Pilot of Atlantic Airlines / Air Atlantique group based in CVT, is female. She oversees what I am sure is the most diverse and complicated group of aircraft in the UK, including some modern jets and turboprops, and a large assortment of very old and complex machinery including the world's largest commercially operational fleet of DC3, DC6 and Lockheed Electra aircraft.

At the risk of stating the bleedin obvious she is one very, very, very, very, very good pilot indeed.

13th Dec 2004, 19:11
"Airbus Girl"

Your initial question seems to reveal an attitude inclined to believe in the RIGHT women have to airline employment rather than the OPPPORTUNITY.

Did you consider the possibility that the female candidate in question, simply failed to meet Ryan Air's required standards?

On a wider point, you should consider whether private employers should have the right, in a "free market', to choose whomsoever they please for any position and then let the public decide whether their hiring practices are acceptable, exempli gratia, by voting with their feet.

Tediously, I have to preface this next statement and say that it is not intended as a insult, but as a male airline pilot and rising beyond questions of general competence, I think speak for many PC weary colleagues when I say, simply, that; I prefer to fly with the guys-bottom line I’m afraid. Don’t be duped into a perception of larger opinion by this and other threads, which painfully follow the same old tired pattern of: PC outrage –UPC response- Administrator response- then floods of self-congratulatory, sycophantic PC drivel. I've heard a variety of derogatory expressions for female pilot over the years, but "conversation stopper" might be the most incisive.

So if you really do believe that your fellow sister was unfairly deprived of a job that was rightfully hers (or whether you don’t), do yourself and the industry a favour and never fly Ryan Air again. (I hope every night for it and its’ ilk’s speedy and messy demise)

Luke SkyToddler
13th Dec 2004, 22:02
Hey don't worry CAVU mate. It's apparently quite common, and psychologically natural for a lot of men, who've had their sexual advances repeatedly rejected by women over a period of years, to have your little problem with mental block as soon as you try to engage in normal conversation with a woman. There are counselling courses available to you and everything, if you just do a little research :rolleyes:

It becomes a lot easier once you try and realize that they're actually people mate ... human beings you know. They do comprise 50% of the population of this earth. All you have to do is open your mouth and talk to them ... or try listening ... ummm you might even find they have an interesting story to tell you.

If of course, your conversational skills are incapable of extending beyond the tiresome, typical building site, football results, and phwoarr-look-at-the-tits-on-that variety, then you might struggle.

Conversation killer indeed. The REAL conversation killer is when the other pilot is some moron redneck whose conversation never strays from page 3, is totally incapable of stringing together a rational argument on any subject, and randomly accuses groups of people that might not agree with you of 'sitting about giving each other hand jobs'. THAT is the only kind of thing that drives me to murderous thoughts after a couple hours in the cruise. Give me an intelligent woman to talk to any day :ok:

13th Dec 2004, 22:26
Luke wow:ok: :ok:

I was gonna stay out of this, because I just can't be a:mad: ed with this discussion any longer, it is just sooo passe.:yuk:
come up with something new, will you?!?

But what cavu (or what ever your name was) comes up with is just laughable. I won't flatter his unintelligence with a response.

Q:There are people we don't like everywhere: it makes no odds if they are female. Ever wondered if the boys like to fly with YOU cavu??? May be they come into the crew room in the morning, see your name on the sheet and yelp in despair: Oh god, please, no, not HIM!!!
Ever wondered, you :mad: ??

A person should get a job due to their suitability and qualification, not because she is a oneyed-wheelchair-using-any-colour-you-like lesbian single mother of three.

Uh-oh, I'm bracing myself for the PC brigade

:yuk: :yuk: :yuk:

Lord Mounts
13th Dec 2004, 22:46
...... and going on from there, just how many female pilots are employed on North Sea oil support helicopter operations these days? Probably make the fixed wing side seem well populated with lady pilots by comparison.

Mind you, maybe its because they have more sense.


14th Dec 2004, 03:42
I'm sorry to have to state the obvious, but given O'Learys obsession with cost savings...why the hell would he want to employ women when they are likely to insist on the right to avail of PAID maternity leave.

Sure, husbands have limited rights to time off around birth...I'm not au fait what FR does to comply with this (I'll bet its given grudgingly) - but a few weeks time off for dad is nothing compared to the cost of months off for mommy!

If I was O'Leary there is no way I'd hire women...beyond a few raging lezzers as token females...to make the numbers look good.

14th Dec 2004, 04:10
Oh, dear, here we go again... another "women pilots bashing session". We had a number of such threads in private flying.

It used to be, and probably still is, that the failing rate for air lines was 98%! It didn't matter if it was guys or gals... if you didn't meet the requirements, your out!

Lufthansa was one of the last airlines to accept women. My ex was a 737 Captain and before the first ones were accepted, he, too, thought they be lousy. Well, he later couldn't praise them enough! He said that most of the women co-pilots he got were BETTER then the men he flew with.
Maybe it's because they have to acheive more... example: if they did a mistake in training, the fellow students (all guys) would say "sure, we knew a women couldn't handle it". The same mistake by a guy would get ignored!!

DLH now has many female pilots, both as co and as captain, AND training pilots!! Now if those machos at Lufthansa have no problem with it, then the rest should not mind.

My job is in a male-dominated area. I hate the thought I got the posistion because I'm a woman! I DON'T want to fill a quota, I want it because I'm QUALIFIED! And I can't see any boss wanting someone who can't pull the ropes... he wants to spend his money on someone who will do the job... whether it be male or female!

When will this competition between the sexes stop... or do they make you feel inferiorer CAVU? ;)


14th Dec 2004, 04:19

Thank you for your response and advice. My blundering Neanderthal approach seems to have worked exceptionally well thus far in both my personal, and professional career and so I’ll pass on the suggestion of counseling at this time.

You, however, might do well to ponder this radical possibility. That it is entirely possible to prefer flying with the chaps and having my own legitimate views on recruitment without being unpleasant and ignorant in, or outside, the cockpit.

I like to fly with the guys in much the same way I prefer to hang out with them on the weekend. Range of conversation is much wider and more colourful and no Toddler, that is not a reference to solely lewd and crass banter. But, only an absolute fool would engage in ALL the same types of conversation with women as one has with men. Or perhaps you are a fool. Perhaps you live in a hermaphroditic dream World. Or perhaps you are just so naïve as to think that one can speak relatively freely without fear of frivolous repercussions.

Oh and just so you’re not in any doubt, my “random accusation” is directed at people like you working hard under the table and is also exasperation with NIMBY pilots who’ll spend all day reading your sycophantic drivel and not even have the courage to say something.

Not to be childish, but I will be-“It's apparently quite common, and psychologically natural for a lot of men, who've had their sexual advances repeatedly rejected by women over a period of years, to have your little problem…” - That’s weak. I bet you don’t like the expression “Empty Kitchen” either (Wind, Wind, Wind). Nor do I Toddler, nor do I.

Oh, and Luke, one last thing. “Page 3 and football”- hardly “mate”. If you knew me you would find that I’m more refined than you can possibly imagine

14th Dec 2004, 10:53
This argument really pi$$es me off. It seems until at least half of every occupation is undertaken by women there will always be cries of sexism.:mad:

Ever stopped to think that it's only in the last 10-15 years that women have decided to go for pilot as a career, hence the limited
number of female chief pilots? How many guys make chief pilot in 15 years?

Ever stopped to figure out the ratio of males/females undertaking training? Of 5 females going through training the same time as me, 5 of them have jobs. Many of the blokes don't. Were the females better candidates for the jobs than all the guys that haven't got work? In some cases yes, in some cases no. So why did they get the jobs? I would like to think because on the day they had the better interviews and convinced the employers that they would be good employees, plain and simple. And that's the way it should be for EVERYONE. No matter what job it's for.

As for positive discrimination, recently one major carrier was announcing some lay offs and was working on a last in first out basis. Unless you were female, then you could stay. Is that fair?


14th Dec 2004, 11:31
Do I remember one of the senior pilots operating Sikorsky's out of SNN on Air/Sea Rescue, being a Local Gal?

14th Dec 2004, 11:54
I can tell you from the heart - during a GPWS I'd know who I'd prefer in the LHS - and it ain't female

14th Dec 2004, 12:04
and it ain't female

kinda goes to show what u think of women in general when you refer to them as "it"...

they probably wouldn't like to be flying with u, u t055er

14th Dec 2004, 12:15
Now now PiperGirl, don't cry.

Problem is nowadays people are too PC. I personally believe a womans place is in the home (or serving passengers). But I'm sure I'll be shouted down for extreme sexism - or accused of being out of touch with reality.

14th Dec 2004, 12:28
..and a man's place is in the bedroom. :E And as I always say "a hard man is good to find". :ok:

14th Dec 2004, 12:44
Now, now Flash8 don't jump to (stereotyped) conclusions. You are just exhibiting your immature thought processes.

I think you'll find that most FOs will prefer to be sitting next to a commander that won't get them into a GPWS incident in the first place! If you know your accident history you will know that the two pilots flying into a lump of granite have up to now always been of the XX chromosome category. And while still only 3-7% of the commercial pilots are women they have been around for about 30 years. If we were such a risk factor to safe operations as you are implying we'd be figuring in the statistics by now.

I have been flying comerially for 23 years and am now a checkpilot with my airline. (No not the first female one either). I would prefer to fly with a professional, competent colleague and have found that those qualities are independent of gender.

Iwonder what the women you've encountered in your life have done to have left you with this attitude. It's nothing to do with being pc - you are just being small minded.

As far as traditional roles are concerned researchers have concluded that if men were a separate species they'd be becoming extinct. There's not much call for bison hunters any more. Just as well we need to keep you around to fill our physical needs once in a while. :)

14th Dec 2004, 12:46
There is no reason that a woman can not fly or command an aeroplane as well as a man.

Women should be given as much (but not more) opportunity to do so.

There can be no other opinion.

End of discussion.

14th Dec 2004, 13:36
Just a quick warning to the neanderthals out there that from now on, anyone exhibiting the effects of a mutated testosterone imbalance in their replies to this thread are likely to find their efforts wasted as my feminine side just can't stand all that machoism. :ooh: I mean, if you can't take part in a serious debate without resorting to inflammatory euphemisms that lead the majority of sensible readers to assume that you are nothing more than an outdated dinosaur with what can only be described as a low self esteem who has yet to be led, kicking and screaming no doubt, into the 19th century, never mind the 21st, then there are plenty of other websites out there catering for your prejudices. :rolleyes:

What sex the pilot or pilots are on an aircraft should have no bearing on anything. As long as they are trained to the required standards there is no reason to worry about anything. If anyone is worried or feels uncomfortable about having to work with a female pilot then it is they who should seek treatment for their irrational fears. Admitting to any kind of bias in this day and age should sound alarm bells and you'd better hope that anyone who knows you have these 'problems' is sympathetic.

So, I hope those of you who feel they have to air their prejudices with the usual 'flame' type responses from behind the comforting cloak of anonymity have had your fill on this thread. Anything from now on that is worded in such a way as to inflame the debate with nonsense and bravado is going to be wasted... Unless, of course, you are macho enough to provide your true identity. :E (I won't be holding my breath :hmm: )

14th Dec 2004, 14:02
Everyone has prejudices and bias; I certainly have and would make no apology whatsoever for holding them.
All of you are entitled to your opinions and the only nanny thing I'd suggest is to try to be a wee bit more polite in the manner in which you express them.

. . . and I had no objection whatsoever to the FO who, unable to sleep on a long night flight, sat cross legged on the jumpseat wearing her Baby-Doll pyjamas and attempted to engage us in intelligent conversation :O :D :p

ps: and yes, I'm an unreconstructed dirty old man who considers washing the dishes to be a great leap towards modernity :ok:

14th Dec 2004, 16:54
Interesting debate

And an issue I've wondered about sometimes and was there discrimination in recruiting pilots for airlines. I voiced this once to someone once who'd flown a bit, he believed that women in general find it harder to make the grade rather than they were being discriminated against. This is not intended as a sexist comment just a quote on quote suggestion to the practicalities of why there is such a gender imbalance existing in this profession. Perhaps its all the technical and mathematical stuff one needs to be good at, maybe like women in general excel in some areas men in general excel at the areas needed to be a competent airline pilot.

The Greaser
14th Dec 2004, 17:20
Women tend to be more motivated, dedicated and professional in my opinion. As for not being as able mathematically and technically - well I think that is not true.
If there is an increasing number of females being employed, and I think in many UK airlines this is the case then I think this is due to the above factors rather than any positive discrimination.
As for flying with them, in my company those I have flown with are generally a joy to share a day with - competent, relaxed, confident and personable. Long may it continue.

14th Dec 2004, 18:11
I was having a chat with my aunt about this - she's now in her 70's, and was a surgeon and GP - going to med school in about 1946.

She encountered a lot of raised eyebrows - came from a working class family as well, and lots of people thought then that female doctors would never have the trust of patients, even female ones! They told her she'd never be able to raise a family (wrong, 2 daughters), or have time to keep home and husband, wrong. A lot of male doctors were certain that the hours, stress etc. were beyond women...

Wake up lads - the cockpit is no longer a male preserve - and by the way - 65% of med students in the UK are..........women!

Devils Advocate
14th Dec 2004, 18:53
Now please don't shoot the messenger, but does this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3527184.stm) sound familiar ?Women docs 'weakening' medicine.

A top female doctor has warned the medical profession's influence could be damaged by the number of women choosing to be medics.

Women doctors are expected to outnumber men within a decade.

But Professor Carol Black, president of the Royal College of Physicians, told the Independent that could affect how the medical profession was seen.

She said she believed female-dominated professions such as teaching no longer saw themselves as "powerful".

She added: "We are feminising medicine. It has been a profession dominated by white males. What are we going to have to do to ensure it retains its influence?

"Years ago, teaching was a male-dominated profession - and look what happened to teaching. I don't think they feel they are a powerful profession any more. Look at nursing, too."

Professor Black added: "In Russia, medicine is an almost entirely female profession.

"They are paid less and they are almost ignored by government. They have lost influence as a body that had competency, skills and a professional ethic.

"They have become just another part of the workforce. It is a case of downgrading professionalism."

Work-life balance

Professor Black added: "What worries me is who is going to be the professor of cardiology in the future? Where are we going to find the leaders of British medicine in 20 years' time?"

She added women were unlikely to take top jobs, such as the dean of a medical school, because of the difficulties combining them with family life.

Professor Black warned many women avoided more "demanding" areas such as cardiology.

She said medicine had to face up to the problem and find ways of helping women doctors balance work and family.

Professor Black told BBC News Online: "I think it's a good thing that women are choosing the medical profession, but the problem is how to make it possible for them to be really effective.

"At the moment, women aren't going into specialties that are the more demanding. So we need to look at how those specialties are practised."

Flexible working

Professor Black warned that, in order for the medical profession's to retain its status, senior doctors needed to serve on government committees and regulatory bodies.

She said such as late night meetings would simply not be possible for women with children, unless they were given extra support with childcare and flexible hours.

"I think most women, although not all, want the opportunity to have a family.

"That may mean they won't perhaps be able to be as flexible as men who don't in a post."

She said she was pleased she was able to highlight the problem because of her position. "It's something that's very difficult for a man to say."

Dr Maureen Baker, honorary secretary of the Royal College of GPs, said it was "perfectly reasonable" to expect the status of any profession to be upheld by its workforce.

"Furthermore, if a higher ratio of men or women working within a profession is deemed to be reducing its status then there is a problem with the very way society views the abilities of the sexes," she said.

'Smaller pool'

A spokeswoman for the British Medical Association said: "We would not want to see a return to the old quota system of admitting women to medical school - the BMA believes in equality of access and opportunity.

"However we agree with Professor Black that there is an under-representation of women at the most senior levels of medicine and medico-politics and we would like to see this changed."

And John Bangs of the National Union of Teachers said: "I would by no means agree that teaching views itself as a less powerful profession, and I find that a very concerning view."

He added: "If you have an all female profession, whether it be medicine or teaching, it means that the pool from which you're selecting those people is smaller than it should be."

14th Dec 2004, 19:51
What is this with the banal utterings of those inadequately-testiculated old dinosaurs who have yet to comprehend that female pilots are every bit as good as male pilots?

Years ago, during a Spanish ATC strike, I only got home on time because the Dan Air captain kicked butt, put on extra fuel and flew her 707 all the way home at FL170 from Mahon to Gatwick! She had a 'can-b£oody-do' attitude, all right!

I trained a fair few pilots in the military; one of our best was a young lady who came from a generation of pilots - on her first sim trip I spotted a degree of application, skill and determination which wasn't exhibited by her male colleagues. "She'll be the first female captain on this fleet" thought I after watching her fly the sim for 5 minutes. And so she became! I had the very great pleasure of acting as her co-piglet when she retired the last ever Standard VC10 to its graveyard many years later. Fittingly, her grandfather had brought the a/c into BOAC service quite a few years earlier!

Stop bitching about female pilots - in general they're very good indeed. As should only be expected!

Alex Whittingham
14th Dec 2004, 22:14
Thank you Beags. I second that. When I see the effort certain lady pilots put into their job I am ashamed of the casual way in which I used to shamble around the world. I can only hope I would have grown out of it.

Nardi Riviera
15th Dec 2004, 00:22
Awww - c'mon for heavens sake, all ya old and young dinosaurs!!!

Females have long ago proven that they can handle big irons or any powered flying vehicles! Already in the 20'ies they were hailed for their brave aviation enterprises.

During WWII gals competently ferried fighters and bombers to sites where "real men" were allowed to take over and fly the crates into oblivion and death. After the war the "aviatrixes" were confined to the kitchen. Yecchhh.

Problem is that today's big-ego (?) macho-men (?) still have trouble letting gals into "their" territory! It is still "a man's world", even anno 2000+. Wake up!!!

Because (!) airline bean-counters have found that any female unfortunately is endowed with nature's given ability to produce offspring (whether they want to or not). Meaning that they could be out of line production while doing their "duty". Alas, some airlines then find it too costly to replace them during this period, as well as abstaining from the cost of putting them through recurrent training later. Money talks?

Do believe women pilots are quite as competent as their male "hot-shot" counterparts. With no testosterone they don't waste time and energy fistfighting in bars or wrecking cars/planes to prove they're better than "the next guy/gal". In a dogfight they win because of their ability to calmly assess the situation.

The following link goes to prove that even the USAF have found females usable:


Isn't this nice reading? Even 30 years ago there was an all-female crew on an American B-727 where the captain and the flight-engineer were mother and daughter. (I saved the clip.) Just the other day I watched a TV programme with an old captain flying the line with his daughter co-pilot whom he had taught to fly.

Danny dear, you're such a nice and sensible man!!! Thanks for your input above.


15th Dec 2004, 01:03
Nardi Riviera, you should probably double check that clip.
I started with AA in 1985 and remember the first all female 727
crew some time after that (my guess would be 1987),
and there was no mother - daughter combo.

15th Dec 2004, 03:31
OK, I got into this thread late, all I can tell you is that I am a chief –pilot of a corporate operation and the first pilot I hired was a, GASP, female!

Didn’t hire her because she was a ‘female’, I hired her because she was a damn good pilot.

End of subject!

15th Dec 2004, 04:07
Must be great to be the chief pilot, you get to say things like
"End Of Subject". Question is when will the female pilots out there get to say it?

Teddy Robinson
15th Dec 2004, 05:44
I just had to come in on this one.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of teaching an almost equal gender split of students at PPL level, and now fly the line with a small but excellent group of female first officers.
They have worked hard to get the positions they now hold, and made some tremendous personal sacrifices.

On hours and ability alone, most of them should now be in the left seat .. however the glass ceiling is still there and being reinforced by some of the attitudes voiced earlier in this thread.

Well said Danny : It's about time attitudes changed... at all levels

15th Dec 2004, 08:17
You want ladies in macho jobs? The Tall Ships Youth Trust (previously known as the Sail Training Association) has two brigs of over 600 tonnes displacement; 200ft two masted square riggers - 10 square sails and 8 fore & aft.
Their bosuns are female.
For the landlubbers; the bosun runs deck maintenance, rigging stores, does a bit of instructing and leads the sea shanty singing by the voyage crew manning the yards, reporting to the 1st mate.

15th Dec 2004, 08:55
Sexism is part of human nature.Like a lot of other isms,its here to stay unfortunately.Remember that its the flying public that often reinforce the myth that flying is a mans world.And thats both men and women.I have actually witnessed female passengers deplane because the skipper was female...
Anyone who thinks women cant make it as pilots,just tell them two words...Amelia Earhart.

15th Dec 2004, 13:41
Just to clear up any misunderstanding...my comments about Ryanair not hiring females for financial reasons were not meant to be taken to suggest I don't think female pilots are any good.

Not at all.

But the fact remains...they have potentially higher specific costs of employment due to their tendancy to reproduce at will.

As to female/male pilot ability. I've seen both sides of this.
I've flown with female pilots who were outstanding. I've also flown with female pilots who were useless...ditto for males.

However, I have on more than one occasion (alright, twice) personally witnessed the abuse of feminine wiles to get ahead.

In the first case a female new-joiner was told she would be streamed onto a turbo-prop fleet instead of the jet type she hoped for (not as a result of any ability issues...just luck of the draw). She went to the Chief Pilot and bawled her eyes out to him. He wimped out and took a young guy off the jet slot and gave it to her. Later, when the young man objected - he was fired for questioning the Chief Pilots motives!

In the other case I actually saw a female pilot burst into tears during a difficult sim check that wasn't going well for her.
The session was stopped so she could compose herself, and when it restarted - everything was laid on a plate to get her through. A male pilot in the same situation would either have had to sort himself out or fail the check.

I believe this kind of thing does go on, like it or not.

Tom the Tenor
15th Dec 2004, 14:09
A great reply to Maxalt's post above is just waiting to be given but those of you whom are not scholars of Hiberno English might not get it so it is best we leave it go for now. Shame, really. Very funny, though! ;)

15th Dec 2004, 14:51
I saw this post and it made me wonder something else.

Whilst I appreciate that male pilot/female pilot makes no difference in the general scheme of things it made me wonder about the recruitment process. There is a drive now to get more women into the airline industry- great I say, it's fact that they generally don't suffer the same bravado issues as blokes and studies have shown they are less likely to "take the gamble" probably a good thing on the flight deck but where does this leave the recruitment process of 2 equal candidates one a female and one a male ?

What springs to mind here (though miles apart) is in "affirmative action" in Africa, where the jobs are going to blacks before whites,(no problem with that - but I'm told even if the white's a far better candidate). Do you think there is a chance this could happen in said recruitment question as the airlines drive for more female pilots - in that it'd look better for them to be recruiting more females - or does it just not happen !!

All hypothetical and I'm not sexist or racist just thinking out loud.

FS :ok:

p.s. th earlier posts about crying re jet/prop and sim checks is disgusting - I hope the pilot that got sacked took them to the cleaners.

15th Dec 2004, 18:09
They also forgot the punchline. The casualty was then arrested for theft of the boat.

Airbus Girl
15th Dec 2004, 19:44
maxalt, I cannot believe that those events happened. The vast majority of female pilots would not dream of using something like that. BUT...and its a big but... you are actually putting down men in your post, as you are inferring that they would actually go outside of CAA guidelines to get a female through a sim check, and go outside of employment guidelines to promote a woman ahead of a man.

If this is the case, then perhaps the tactics of men who are in a position of "power" should be examined more thoroughly.

As for the maternity issue, well, in the USA a female pilot took her employer to court, because she wanted to work during pregnancy (after the first 3 months) and wasn't allowed to. I believe that women pilots in America are now allowed to fly whilst pregnant provided they have consent from their Doctor.

However, let's take worse case scenario. I believe the average number of children per women is now less than 2. So lets say, worse case, the pilot has 2 children.

I would guess that it takes at least a month to confirm that a woman is actually pregnant. During that month the woman flies.
The woman is then grounded for 2 months due to the high radiation affecting the development of the child. After that she is medically fit and could fly an aircraft if the regulations allow.

Obviously closer to the actual birth she will be off for a couple of months. Lets say worst case, she is off for 1 year per child. That is only 2 years in a career of 30 or 40 years. No doubt the low cost carriers could only pay statutory maternity leave if they so desired. Now I know for a fact that an airline can cope with at least 20 less pilots - the airline I work for is not a low cost carrier but operates with less crews per aircraft than LCCs. In my airline pregnant pilots are assigned other duties, on the ground, so they are doing a job that the company would have to pay for.

So its most likely to be around 8 months off, doing a different job, with maybe a pay difference of £20k per year. So we are talking maybe £13k for one child, £26k for two.

My company spent £60k on days off payments this year, because it couldn't roster sufficient pilots to cover for sickness, delays, etc.

Not to mention the fact that we have a number of (male) pilots off sick with other health issues.

So is this really such a big issue????

And if men don't agree with women working as pilots then taking maternity leave, I take it they are happy with their own wives never having children, or if they do, giving up their jobs?

15th Dec 2004, 20:27
maxalt, I cannot believe that those events happened. The vast majority of female pilots would not dream of using something like that.Yes, hard to believe, isn't it.
True nonetheless. I really don't have this good an imagination.

Just to rub salt into it, the female concerned took her jet type rating and buggered orf after serving about a year. She's using it to fly with another employer in the UK now.
Apparently that was why she was so upset at being streamed onto the turbo prop...she was already plotting her escape and needed the jet rating to do it.

The individuals concerned may well be reading this and no doubt recognise themselves. Perhaps she'd like to comment?

BUT...and its a big but... you are actually putting down men in your post, as you are inferring that they would actually go outside of CAA guidelines to get a female through a sim check, and go outside of employment guidelines to promote a woman ahead of a man. Such a convoluted way to deflect blame. But you are right!
Some men are so easily manipulated by a womans tears it just ain't funny.

Me? - I'd fail anyone on the spot for crying in the Sim.
They'd be off to the shrink immediately too.
But thats just me...I'm fair and even handed by nature.

If this is the case, then perhaps the tactics of men who are in a position of "power" should be examined more thoroughly. tactics? What TACTICS? The 'tactics' seem to be on the female side here.

As to the details of pregnancy legislation, you appear to know little about it.

Under the old rules it was allowed for a pregnant pilot to fly during the second trimester.
When JAR came in that was stopped altogether.
So no point sueing your long-sufferring employer...its the LAW.

Also, I've yet to meet a female pilot who actually WANTED to fly while pregnant!
Usually the pregnancy was timed to fall in Peak Season...so she had a nice rest while the rest of us worked our bollix off (how do you like THAT hiberno english Tom The Tenor)? And after all...if I was capable of choosing when to have a 9 month holiday on a whim...I'd pick my dates carefully too.
Lets not delude ourselves...its human nature.

As a matter of additional interest, its my experience that when a lady pilot decides to have a baby, she often decides...what the hell...lets have two and get it over with.
The result is she's off the roster for a year and a half.
Unless she can arrange a set of twins?

And off course...the company has to pay her...and she is under no obligation to work in another position...I've never known them to do so, and if they were forced...well, I imagine the sudden onset of a bout of premature labour symptoms would scare off most Chief Pilots.

Jeez...I'm so un-PC!
How dare I...I could get my eyes scratched out if I was identified!

And if men don't agree with women working as pilots then taking maternity leave, I take it they are happy with their own wives never having children, or if they do, giving up their jobs?Well now we're getting into social engineering territory. These days we have something approaching full employment, so what I'm about to say is moot in current circumstances. However, in an environment where there is large scale unemployment, I've often thought it pitifully unfair to see certain households where BOTH spouses had very well paid jobs, while other families were on the breadline for the want of one of those very same jobs.
Seems basically unjust to me. Never actually been in that situation, but I've seen it numerous times.
Not sure what I'd do about it...perhaps we could open a new thread and kick it around there?

Nardi Riviera
15th Dec 2004, 21:27
Airbus Girl – nice to have some facts in this thread, for a change...

Have noted that during the last decade the gender gap in aviation has closed somewhat, which is really encouraging. Especially the younger generation men are getting more comfortable about sharing their work environment with women.

Guess that as the number of female pilots is increasing, there will be all kinds present: Also the very few who habitually resort to tears for "problem-solving". Why, in another 20 yrs one doing that would be told brusquely to pull herself together and continue, or better yet may have learned this by ample exposure to the male environment. Guys responding to tears in the old-fashioned way also show that they have a few miles to go... Evolution takes time, dear gentlemen. Stay tuned.

In the earlier ages (60-70'ies) maybe the conduct of female pilots had to be strictly professional in order to get them somewhere – or maybe other types of women were attracted to flying than today's (actual interest in aviation, not just "another job"). Believe that most of us more easily notice/remember a gal goofing on a sim-check etc than when a guy does, because they are few so they draw attention.

I remember the days when men had all kinds of hilarious reasons for women not being suitable for flying positions. (One old airline captain assured me that the only skirt he'd ever see in his cockpit would be the stew serving them coffee…) Then, after gals had been around for a while and I reminded the guys of their previous statements, those very ones had gotten used to the phenomenon and could no longer see "the problem". Nice.

Men are somewhat primitive beings. I do enjoy/envy that – as expressed in old PC lingo: WYSIWYG. Wish more women were able to adopt some of that attitude, thus simplify their acts a wee bit for the benefit of all. MOST women could use some more ambition plus sharper elbows, and tone down their nurturing instinct. (Of course, in here I'm only addressing the typical extremes of either gender, who are most visible.) Believe any unbiased pilots will accept female colleagues (or coloured) if they can perform the task at hand.

Bamse01 – Check the grammar, it shows that I was referring to an airline in America, not AA. Think it was on the West Coast, late 70'ies. If I ever retrieve the clip (probably in a box of memorabilia in the basement), I'll scan it. Believe Alaska Airlines pioneered by getting their first female pilot around the mid-70'ies. Don't know which one was first.

Teddy R – you're right that the "glass ceiling" is definitely a sad fact. Not so much about ill-will, more due to the genders having different codes of speech and conduct. This alienation will improve slowly but surely, as modern kids are allowed to share the same environments and grow used to each other. There's hope.

Basil – thanks for giving us a female bosun on a tall ship. Impressive. Wonder if she would have got there 30-40 yrs ago… Any other examples out there?

Rananim – Do believe your story about those female pax: Men tend to lean back and reckon the airline vouch for the competence of their pilots. Alas – there were sooo many better female pilots than Amelia in those early days! (Guess you have to die to make the headlines forever after.) Check Beryl Markham and others who made it on their own by actual virtue, then lived to ripe old age.

Flystudent – "quotas" are indeed a sore spot. Must admit though, that even if they seem unfair to some and often are enforced in a clumsy way, they do serve a purpose. Women are not a minority (about 50% of the population). Africans are not a minority on their own continent. Most 3rd world (?) airlines have programmes to get their natives into the cockpit. Of course, white western males have been in command of the aviation business since the very start, so that most of us are led to believe they're the only species who can fly an aircraft. Give the rest equal time to catch up, then take stock!

Maxalt – Won't write off your "information" completely, although it may be somewhat distorted after being processed via your personal filter. We all know that men are known to use any means to obtain their goals, never mind whose job they take, so whose legs are you trying to pull? Better luck in the previous century, dear.

Keep up the good work, an' spill your guts, guys & gals! :ok: :hmm:

15th Dec 2004, 21:38
We all know that men are known to use any means to obtain their goals, never mind whose job they takeYou had me half convinced right up to that bit. Miaowww.:hmm:

Nardi Riviera
15th Dec 2004, 21:52
Maxalt, baby.
I had you HALF convinced??? Heh, that's 99.99% more than I'd ever hope for.
Let go of my leg, rugrat! Beddybye! :rolleyes: :E

15th Dec 2004, 22:14
Keep on hopin' baby! :}

15th Dec 2004, 22:53
We all know that men are known to use any means to obtain their goals...And we all know that men are all rapists too....:yuk:

Gee, what a pity, you sounded so reasonable and plausible before that comment.:*

15th Dec 2004, 22:59
"Of course white western males have been in command of the aviation business since the very start so that most of us are led to believe they are the only ones who can fly an aircraft"

Perhaps if we had waited for any one else to design, build, fly aircraft we would still be walking.


16th Dec 2004, 06:53
maxalt I guess you don't have children.......:ooh: So, it might be an education to inform you that the success rate for an egg being fertilised and implanting in any one cycle are slightly less than 20%. So in light of that fact, do you think it is that easy to plan a pregnancy the way you are suggesting??

And BTW, I know you're being controversial for the sake of it, but don't be silly with it! :\

16th Dec 2004, 07:25
Before you recruit a female as a pilot , ask about the sickness rate and how often they are off on full pay dropping sprogs 1

16th Dec 2004, 07:44
Here are a few historical facts from the Int. Society of Women Airline Pilots' website:

*Helen Ritchey was the first documented and verified female pilot to be hired to fly as a pilot of a commercial scheduled passenger carrier when the U.S. carrier, Central Airlines, hired her on December 13, 1934. The pilots wouldn't allow her to join the all-male pilot union so she was forced to resign in October of 1935. We are currently investigating two other woman that may take Helen's place in history, Betty Russell - purported to be flying for Royle and Andrews Flying Service in 1930 out of Alameda, California, and Marga von Etzdorf, purported to have flown Junkers F-13's for Lufthansa in 1927.*

There are now women flying for airlines even intraditionally conservative counties/cultures such as Japan, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

16th Dec 2004, 09:35
What about Saudia?

Though not. Blinkered sexual prejudice still rules in some quarters. But we mustn't upset them - they've got the oil....

16th Dec 2004, 19:35
Over thirty years ago I taught for a couple of years in a girls grammar school. Think back to those times and the prevailing attitudes - attitudes that included gender based aptitudes (girls: touchy- feely, caring occupations, etc. boys: leaders, maths and science, etc.). Unaware of these stereotypes (and with only a couple of male staff, of whom I was one) these pupils shone just as well at maths and science as the boys at their grammar school down the road. In fact better, a team of sixth formers won a national schools competition for physics and a prize in a national school maths competition - all without a hint of sexual politics or positioning - it was just pride in school work and good teaching. I don't remember anyone crowing about girls beating boys. A marked contrast to the comparative performance, even now, of girls vs boys in school maths and science.
My observations since then is that girls are different (!!!!), they generally do better at school (for lots of reasons) and only lose out later on when either 'up against boys' in situations where jostling for position pertains - everything from wanting the class to stay on track, competing for access to equipment through to ruthlessness (or lack of) in competing for promotion - or when they 'discover' the opposite sex. This happens at a crucial time for future careers, etc. - think of how many women have ditched their own academic / professional development in order to follow their man. When they find a way through that, and this is nowadays getting much better/easier, then there is no difference in intellectual or professional ability explained by gender alone. It's not women who are changing, there have always been some who defied the 'rules' (Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, .......) and rose to the top in men's worlds, it is society's attitudes and opportunities - nurture over nature as educationalists, social scientists might say.
Where there are differences they tend to be subtle and/or generalisations such that you might 'find' between nationalities, cultures, etc..
Anyway - happy flying to all of you - boys and girls, men and women.


16th Dec 2004, 20:40
Ryanair maternity policy, like many others in the industry is no more than statutory minimum - nobody goes off on full pay to drop sprogs.

Nardi Riviera
16th Dec 2004, 22:06
Snigs – you sure shot that *** down with facts!

Piton – women pilots in the US are recorded, but their European counterparts are more obscure. Still haven't found which European airline had the first female pilot.

WangEye – thank you ever so much! The lack of male role models in grammar school has been a problem for ages: Most men traditionally shie away from taking care of our young ones (defined as feminine area). My daughter told me early on that the noisy and hyperactive boys were in command of the classroom environment, so it was hard to learn anything. When they were assigned a male teacher in 4th grade, she was happy that he'd control the boys so that the girls were allowed to study. As you pointed out - upon reaching puberty, formerly bright girls hide their intellect in order to attract the boys' attention, dressing up and making up and faking whatever. Ok, I'll consider hormones and the ancient natural command regarding procreation. Still – mankind here did long ago relieve the female gender from the curse of multiple unwanted births and washing clothes in a river, etc etc. By inventing machinery which gave females time to think. The last 2-3 decades girls have been permitted to participate on the same level as boys. Even in the 21st century we are daily reminded that some representatives of the male gender has not caught on to this development. No matter what – life goes on, and men are now on "quotas" for positions in kindergarten (or whatever you call it) so as to give the hyperactive boys ways to deploy their energy until they grow old enough to realize that they actually have a brain.

Talking about different gender codes: Typical men are aggressive and figh, typical women are peaceful and talk. Which type would you prefer to have in the cockpit of an airline? Wherever males are put together, they tend to "measure up" and this may ruin CRM. Also has been known to create accidents. Any environment improves when females are introduced into male territory.

Frangatang & Flyma & Maxalt – "sprogs" popped by anyone today, may be the airline captains of tomorrow… If your mums had had to choose between career and offspring, maybe you wouldn't even be in the air by now?

Thanks to all of you who posted opinions and experiences confirming that the world turns, no matter what…

:( :O :rolleyes: :p :hmm:

Bomber Harris
16th Dec 2004, 23:28
This serious issue has illiceted some hillarious responses. Thanks for the 'hiberno english' jokes. That made me pee my pants!!

Great to see boys and girls can still keep humour when disussing this subject.

17th Dec 2004, 08:27
Nardi Riviera - Actually the dates I quoted from ISWAP are not just US - the Junckers pilot mentioned from1927 was with Lufthansa. On their webpage they also have a list of the national "firsts" that they received from those of us who came later. I think you'll find 1927 hard to beat at least for an airline pilot.

Many of us in Europe have put some effort into recording the pioneering flights (eg first female fo, first female captain, first all female crew) that took place in the last 15-20 years. When I started flying in Europe we (female flightcrew) were rare enough that we almost knew each other - we knew that airline A had one & airline B had 3 etc... Luckily now the percentages have increased and I no longer even personally know all the women in my airline (25 - 30 out of 350).

WangEye - I went to an all girls school and with hindsight I agree it certainly makes a difference that the person who came first in maths or physics was always a girl - there was no suggestion we couldn't cope with the subject matter and we just got on with it!

17th Dec 2004, 09:55
Not all women want children. I don't, and I get just as annoyed as blokes do that there is the possibility now of women having up to a year off, PAID, to bring up their children. I don't plan on having sprogs, but I would still like to have a year's holiday with a wage-packet.
Of course, interviewers can't ask the girls whether they plan on having kids or not.

17th Dec 2004, 11:08
Interesting. Lots of references to women flying in the civilian world but none to those who fly in the military. I can think of one familiar name who flew all manner of military aircraft and then moved to her present career flying passengers around.

I rather think her abilities and talents would make many who have posted here look very ordinary indeed although she would never say so.

17th Dec 2004, 12:29
Have nothing against sprogs, in fact I have one of my own - was purely trying to dispel the myth that women are paid their full pay whilst on maternity leave.

To anyone else who thinks it's a year's paid holiday, here are the facts - statutory maternity pay is 90 % of your salary for the first 6 weeks of maternity leave and £102.80 per week for 20 weeks. The remaining 26 weeks of maternity leave should you wish to take it are TOTALLY UNPAID.

Baron rouge
17th Dec 2004, 14:00
Not all women want children. I don't, and I get just as annoyed as blokes do that there is the possibility now of women having up to a year off, PAID, to bring up their children. I don't plan on having sprogs, but I would still like to have a year's holiday with a wage-packet.


very strange in fact that egoistic vision of the world. Procreation means survival of mankind, and surely for most of us it means as well that when we grow old, somebody will be able to take care of us.

I personaly find it fair that women have that compensation. In France were it is not allowed for pregnant women to fly for the all 9 month, PILOT or F/A receive 90% of their basic salary paid for by the employer. A pity it is not the same everywhere in Europe.

17th Dec 2004, 22:53
Maybe irrelivent now - but the exact figure for female pilots in ryanair is 12 - out of a total of around 670 on-line.

18th Dec 2004, 23:10
At least somone.. thanks for the numbers Cant_fly :)
Merry Xmas to you!!

anyone know the ratio between male and female atpl holders in europe?

20th Dec 2004, 06:04
not posted anything for a while, but the petty squabbling going on here needs a reply.

Do I have a problem with female pilots? , No, provided they make the grade. However I am sure there is plenty of positive discrimination going on, I've seen it in may industries whilst they try to get their PC quotas right. After a while the balance becomes OK and sanity returns or the companies realise it can't be achieved and give up.

PC assumption, 'men and women are the same with the same abilities'. FACT this is not so. most of the comments in this thread highlight what they see as their genders strong points, often exactly the points the other gender sees as their weak points AND YOU CAN'T SEE IT!

If you look at some other industies, lets take engineering, Female engineers are few and far between. The Engineering council has tried all kinds of ways to get girls into engineering, including blatant discrimination. Result, the Engineering Council says the drive was basically a failure, girls are basically not interrested in engineering as a job. However the few that are there are normally there because they want to and hence tend to be quite good. A lot of blokes in engineering are there because its a job they can do, it comes naturally and hence may aren't well motivated. Sound like aviation?

Other differences, illuded to in other postings, how do the genders respond to crises/ pressure/ failure. Generlisation girls cry blokes come out fighting. I've experinced both when the chips are down. The problem that a lot of the posts here point to is that in a safety critical application the fighter will survive, fly the plane until its on the deck where as the tears approach accepts defeat and death. Now the women reading this are probably about to skin me alive but what they- you- need to realise is that is how the men see it. It is also very true that men do not know how to handle women bursting into tears in a proffessional environment if they don't get their own way. Not many women equals little experinece of handling them:E , so faced with all the very real possibilities of discrimination claims etc men give in and go for the easy option, also looks good for quotas etc.

I personally work with a few women, most good one or two not good. Which ones do I and my male colleagues prefer to work with? The ones who will join in the banter, not get all PC or put in a complaint if they think you've overstepped the mark slightly but would rather give as good as they get. I suspect that the majority of the female posters here are in this catergory, you seam quite good at giving. However, if you get a women who is known to file complaints about harassment at the drop of a hat its like having an icy gale in the room (one women I know filed a formal complaint because a male colleague farted near her). If you get an unkown women, men tend to be very cautious until they know what camp that women is in. Given this situation, fuelled larely by fear of harassment/preudice complaints is it surprising that some very reasonable guys say they prefer to fly with other blokes?

seat 0A
20th Dec 2004, 08:09
In my company we are looking at a staggering percentage of close to 50% of all female pilots who end up in early retirement on medical grounds! Burn-out and fear-of-flying mostly.
Early retirement being in their mid-thirties, when the babies are coming.

Now, I`m not making any statements here about the female`s ability to command an aeroplane, but these statistics alone make you wonder wether aviation is a wise career choice for women.
I would be interested to know how the statistics are in other airlines, as this is getting more and more expensive for our pension-fund as well!

20th Dec 2004, 13:06
We've certainly tapped a rich seam of prejudice here. Thanks cantfly for the numbers, seems pretty consistent with the 2-3% figure.

It always stuns me that the few gals that there are have put up with all this antipathetic crap for all those years and persisted to get ailrline jobs. My gleaned impression is that they've had to be better than average and very determined or they simply would not have survived to get there.

I'm daunted that one of their number, who eschews motherhood, should envy their paid time off for child bearing duties. I'm sure those that have arrested their airline carreer to bear children, would happily exchange the additional paid time off with their male partner, if he would take on the bearing/birthing bit.

Apart from any other consideration and I too like a beer with pals down the boozer, it brought a change of conversation to the cockpit and by and large they smell a great deal better.

20th Dec 2004, 16:15
seat 0A - I also live and work at -11ft and would really like to know which operator has 50% women retiring early. Or do you just have 3 or 4 women in which case it's hardly a statistically significant number. In my mind it could point at something in your general company atmosphere that makes them want to stop and get out at soon as they can!

We have - as I mentioned earlier - about 25-30 women (out of 350) and the first one is retiring in a year or so at normal retirement age. Only 2 or possibly 3 have had kids in the 15 years I've been here and I don't think any colleagues can complain about sickness rates. One female colleague retired in the last 5 years with a medical problem after extended medical but that's it - and then again we have several guys on medical leave at any given time so that's all just normal ops.....

Like I said maybe it's something in the way your particular company operates - I'd be very interested to see your answers on total number of pilots and of female pilots.

the grim repa
20th Dec 2004, 17:01
get a life!is this all we have to talk about?

Airbus Girl
20th Dec 2004, 18:29
50% off due to medical reasons? And how has that got anything to do with gender?
If you want to look at it statistically, I can give you some examples from my own company/ base.
15% are female.
Of the 85% who are male, 17% of the (male) FOs have been off sick so often its become a standing joke (and they've been interviewed for the high sickness level). 13% of the Captains have had at least 6 months off in the past year due to medical reasons. Another 26% have been off for a considerable period in the past year or two.
Of course then there is the 0.6% of pilots who used to be male and are now female. Which camp would you like the put them in? The "fight and survive" (or perhaps crash and burn, which is the flipside of this response) or the "cry lots" camp (actually women go more for the think rather than act, and can actually use intellect to get out of a situation rather than piling in straight away and attempting to use bravado. Kind of reminds me of the Azores glider incident, can't think why....).

Of the 15% of female pilots, their sickness record is at least as good as the male pilots.

seat 0A
20th Dec 2004, 19:49
Hey, relax people! I`m voicing a serious concern here.
Piton said:
maybe it's something in the way your particular company operates
That just might be the case. Maybe that`s why our company has been doing a survey among our female colleagues recently about this.
This is not something you can just wipe off the table like Airbus Girl is trying to do.
In a company with an average of 0,2 percent loss-of-license among the males, and about 50 percent in the female population, something needs to be looked into.


Loose rivets
21st Dec 2004, 06:01

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should've known... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

Airbus Girl
22nd Dec 2004, 16:01
Seat 0A, come on then, do tell, just how many female pilots do you have in your company? And how many men? Then we can see if the data are statistically relevant.
The figures I gave were also totally factual.
You seem to know alot about the females in your company, so perhaps you could expand on the reasons behind their loss of licence? I mean, if someone loses their licence because they suffered injuries in a car crash, then surely that is not female-specific, as it could just as easily happen to a male.
I believe the CAA are currently doing research on the causes of loss of licence due to medical reasons.

Willit Run
22nd Dec 2004, 16:29
I've been involved in flying big airplanes for 19+ years, all in the non-sched sector; and all intl flying. I've heard a marked increase in female voices over the radio from all countries, some i was really astounded would let a female fly, but very glad they have broken the barrier. Of the ladies that i have worked with about 20 percent were not worth a hill of beans, (about the same as men)but the rest were very capable pilots. Having an attitude about women in the cockpit, is akin to racism. You better give the folks the benefit of doubt before you judge them. They just might teach you something if you open your mind a little.

Ms. Turret (Ozi)
23rd Dec 2004, 09:38
Errr, slightly off message aren't we? Ryanair don't hire women pilots any more because the former chief pilots daughter stormed off an aircraft down route one day, tired of alleged 'sexual harassment' by the captain she was assigned to. MOL takes the view that the whole issue can be avoided by not hiring 'em in the first place. He may very well be a Vulcan with that kinda logic. Makes sence to me.:ok:

23rd Dec 2004, 22:36
Unless there's 2 big airlines operating from -11`, mr seat 0A is posting drivel. About 2200 pilots, of which 3% are female. Makes for somewhere like 65 women.
They call in sick slightly more frequently than the males, just like they do in most other jobs in the Low Lands.
One of them has left the job because she suffered fear of flying. This happened 10 years after she (young second officer) was the pilot flying during a very serious incident where they lost all engine power due to volcanisc ashes.

Why do you feel the need to make up fictitious numbers to score a point seat 0A? Truth doesn't shore up your opinion?

24th Dec 2004, 12:08
For what it's worth, the best instructor I had when I was a student pilot was a woman. She gave me a great deal of confidence and was utterly professional.

24th Dec 2004, 16:47
MOL seem to be a person looking into every detail for cost cutting reasons, good on him.
I remember one French lady that flew the Concorde for AF, where there any at BA?

Chimbu chuckles
25th Dec 2004, 16:16
My first instructor was a women..she was excellent...flown with heaps since, including being the only male member:} of a jet crew captained by a very capable ladybird...who could and did give as good as she got in any circumstance and who left me, more than once, almost floored by her learing, good naturedly, at male pax as they boarded....flying with her was a lot of fun...remember one occassion supporting her on her line check...the checky could be dry to the extent you were not sure whether he was seriously having a go at you or not...she was suffering a little bit of checkitis/nerves and it showed...while holding before takeoff I told her not to worry, if she failed I'd support her in a sexual harrasment suit..her look of absolute horror was priceless...as was the suppressed chuckles from the checky...her check went great and we had a few beers and laughed like drains about it that evening.

I'm a single Dad to a (wonderfull) teenage girl...she'll be 16 soon...she is definately in the midst of that phenomena called puberty...I find it SO frustrating that an otherwise intelligent, bright, witty young adult becomes a complete moron when it comes to boys:ugh: Doesn't want to study (does reasonably well despite that but could do much better) and feels that socialising is much more important than anything else...I can REALLY see an argument for single sex schools.

Even though I definately fall into the age group that came before PC and SNAGS I am convinced that, professionally, a person's sex is not an indication of competence or otherwise...it's irrelevant.


I have been dragged, by numerous females-both friends and 'more than' since my teens, to the conclusion that when it comes to men women are the dumbest, most illogical thing on two legs.

Definately too there are differences of perception towards the opposite sex...as someone posted above, some things which females tout as their strongsuites can be seen as otherwise by males and visa versa...the very basis of the battle of the sexes perhaps....definately the main pane in the glass ceiling.

It's a dilema:ugh:

Nardi Riviera
25th Dec 2004, 17:53
A young lady going for an aviation career had a talk with her pilot uncle (737-captain) at a christmas party. He was scheduled for flights with female FO's, and didn't like the idea one bit. His worst scenario was to have a female captain, as he regards the home environment the only suitable place for women – luckily his seniority puts him in a safe spot. Good for the gals, I'd say: Flying with a crewmember of that disposition can be no fun. Imagine how such a guy may put you down as an FO, or question your command as a captain, just because of your gender.

Would be interesting to know if the Ryanair chief pilot's daughter mentioned earlier actually was a good pilot who had had enough harassment by the likes of my young friend's uncle. Until we get contradictory facts, I'd like to think so.

Macho-men have a habit of challenging anyone, and men of lower ranks can handle it due to conditioning from early age in the male environment. Females are not used to this code of conduct, and thus respond differently. Which may be one reason men don't like to share their professional habitat with women. (Differences in perception, as Chimbu Chuckles stated above.) Young girls downgrade themselves in order to be "attractive". Most are not fighters, but prefer to get somewhere by competence.

It's been some 30 years since the first post-WWII female pilots entered the scene. My guess is that it will take another 30 before gals are integrated. Looking back into history, there were astonishingly many female pilots in the 20-30'ies, but the war kicked them back half a century (to the kitchen) and they had to start all over again: http://www.wasp-wwii.org/wasp/resources/dora.html

So – no wonder the percentage of female pilots is still so low? Only the hardiest of personalities can survive, and some good pilots may be lost due to (secluded?) harassment by a few (?) conservative men unwittingly (?) choosing to resist bringing on modern times. Scenario more suitable for 1904 than 2004.

Thanks to those of you here who prove that the world turns. :ok:

Chimbu chuckles
25th Dec 2004, 18:34
Nardi the female pilot boom of WW2 was 'tolerated' because there was just not enough men to ferry the aircraft from A-B.

That women were VERY good at it probably surprised the male powers that be...I can just imagine the relief the pollies and Generals felt when the WASPs so successfully contributed to the war effort.

It wasn't just the lady pilots who, mostly, ended up back in the kitchens bare foot and pregnant post war...it was millions of women who contributed in thousands of factories etc...no doubt the war was unwinable without their contributions.

1946 was a very different time and I can well imagine that many women were more than happy to see the war won and their men home...to return to what they were bought up to believe was their rightfull role..wives and mothers.

Clearly also pandoras box had been opened and things could not return to the prewar norm no matter how badly men wanted that to be the case...I suspect too it took women a little while to realise that they were not really fullfilled back in the roles they had traditionally filled pre war....probably most women were torn between the two desires...for things to be back to 'normal' and to keep that sense of purpose/excitement that the war had exposed them to...imagine going from making fighters,bombers,tanks,bombs,bullets etc one day to "Thanks deary..off you toddle home and wait for your hero to return...oh and when he does tell him there's a job for him here."

A good mate of mine's first instructor was also a women....her picture is on the wall of the WLAC, and in numerous books on the subject...a tiny young women standing by the main wheel of the Stirling Bomber she has just delivered from the factory...she's barely taller than the wheel....early-mid 20s...imagine what a sense of achievement a women her age in that era must have felt....her chances of direct entry command to BOAC post war...absolutely fecking zero....can any of us imagine the Atlantic Barons tolerating a 5' nothing 'girl' in their midst?

Gender roles and expectations have been confused and turned upside down in the last 40 odd years....Lord knows how many 100s of years of conditioning all blown to hell...little wonder we still see attitudes of sexism.

But lets not lose sight totally of the downside to the great gender experiment we are living...for that is what it is...can anyone say society will not pay a price, some day, for leaving their kids at home alone or with strangers in a day care...'institutionalised from birth'...while both parents work for what ever reason..be it economic necesity (both real and imagined) or just plain 'I want it all...children and career'. Something has got to give...I think we see the beginnings of it now in modern youth...I think it is sad...I think the price society will pay for 'equality' will be greater than anybody can imagine...or is prepared to admit.

Probably, in light of all that has gone before, we are doing pretty darn well....for mere males.

25th Dec 2004, 19:47
You hit the nail on the head!

There is nothing wrong with female pilots, I have flown with three in particular that were not only much better looking than my average F/O but better company and all had a very good pair of hands!

BUT. . . .

The question keeps returning to old values and bringing up the children. My son is 13 going on 28 but he still loves having his mom around and whilst she works part time she also loves to be around him and the family in general.

We are not at war and we don't actually NEED these lady pilots. I am quite sure we could fill every seat both left and right with quality men which would leave our ladies time to take care of the family, teach the young ones the rules and make a home environment.

Maybe I am out of touch but hey it worked ok for hundreds of years so why mend something that is not broken?

25th Dec 2004, 21:09
Mercenary Ali, a touching scene of blissful domesticity. On the surface that is. Dig a bit deeper and we find some curious anomalies. The child is your son but he loves having his Mum around. No mention of your good self there; one wonders if the child, so conspicuously yours, enjoys having his father around? And do you as a father enjoy being around the family and do you enjoy bringing up your child?
Are you any good at it at all? Or is instilling values and raising your child strictly Mum's job? Seeing how much she enjoys being around him and the family?
I am merely asking Mercenary Ali, just curious.
BTW, you might not actually NEED these lady pilots, but who is to say they don't NEED to fly as badly as you do? ;)

Oh and about the 'it worked ok for hundreds of years so why mend something that is not broken? May I suggest you do some reading up on your history? Just so you can in future avoid making statements of such patent silliness. Perhaps you do not enjoy doing historical research? Is that it?
In that case allow me to be of assistance and give you a potted version. ( I know that potted shrimp are a lot more enjoyable but I do so hate to see people making a fool of themselves on these boards)

For brevity's sake, lets start in the middle ages. Rural economies. Men and women participated equally in the task of working the land, running the small holding etc. Bring on the industrial revolution and economies change. Farming became more efficient, releasing large numbers of women and children to take their place at the loom and the workbench. More men came to rely upon selling their labour to employers, rather than relying upon the products of their own household. This meant people were suddenly competing for 'jobs'. As opposed to the old days were all able bodies were needed to keep famine and death at bay.
Next phase, Victorian times. In the competitive job market, getting rid of the women was a great strategy. So women were suddenly deemed too fragile to participate in the workforce. Forced to stay at home and look after the family.

Low and behold, less than 200 years later, people like Mercenari A are absolutely certain that women in the home is the natural order of things 'because it has always been so'.Looking at the history of humankind, 200 seems a rtaher meagre historical perspective. A xomforting one though mr A, very comforting. So do not let me wake you up. Dream on.

Chimbu, can anyone say society will not pay a price, some day, for leaving their kids at home alone or with strangers in a day care. Nope noone can say that. We don't know that yet. I do tend to think that your scenario is not the best for the kids though. But what does that have to do with this discussion?
Or are you, like Mercenary A perhaps, of the opinion that only females can successfully rear the young of our species? That would seem odd, taking into account how you yourself have, after a long battle, taken over the upbringing of your daughter and seem to be doing a very creditable job of it.

You mention the great gender experiment. I respectfully submit that in most of the world, the experiment hasn't even come half way yet.
Only when society makes it possible for both parents to have a share in the meaningful but often stultifyingly boring job of caring for their own young while they at the same time can have a career or a job that satifies and stimulates them, will the experiment have reached it's final result.

Fot what better way for a human being (regardless of gender) to pursue happiness than to be able to fill the full spectre of roles that give life meaning and depth.
Instead of having to live life effectively amputated from half of it's beauty.

Nardi Riviera
25th Dec 2004, 22:07
Shucks, small boys must be the only ones to enjoy a homey mum: Knowing when they're hungry so that they don't have to think about sustenance; patiently dressing their wounds when they hurt themselves because they disregard sensible warnings; washing their unneccessary dirty clothes from said activity. Little girls are alas in a different world – expected to take care of unruly classmates as well as brothers.

Mine was a full-time home-maker smothering me with "motherly love", insisting on teaching me how to take care of husband, household and children. I remember desperately wishing that she'd get a job and leave me with someone indifferent enough to let me read books in peace and quiet, letting me adapt to life outside home.

Perhaps small children actually benefit from proper day-care? If mum has an academic (etc) education she may not be satisfied by spending her days in the company of toddlers for years on end? Unfortunately society (men?) impose on mums only to take care of the offspring, whether they want to or not. This in the 21st century.

If a female breaks out of this system and chooses not to be burdened with children so that she can pursue a career instead, she'll encounter the "evil eye" from society, and may be harassed by conservative males at work. Like 100 years ago. If she tries to take care of both career and family, she'll be burned out. Because dad refuses to contribute.

And the world turns – ever so slowly.
New readers better start at page 1.

25th Dec 2004, 22:31
Mercenary Ali, a touching scene of blissful domesticity. On the surface that is. Dig a bit deeper and we find some curious anomalies. The child is your son but he loves having his Mum around. No mention of your good self there; one wonders if the child, so conspicuously yours, enjoys having his father around?


Ah! Yes of course and we have alot of fun together, music, computing and swimming but mothers and fathers have completely different things that we bring to our children; you may have noticed we ARE QUITE DIFFERENT!


And do you as a father enjoy being around the family and do you enjoy bringing up your child?


Yes I enjoy it immensely and of course whilst his mom teaches him the things she knows best we go hunting, fishing and cutting the logs - the things his mom is not too interested in!


Are you any good at it at all? Or is instilling values and raising your child strictly Mum's job? Seeing how much she enjoys being around him and the family?


I wish I knew if I am any good at it. My son seems to like being with me and doing "men things", perhaps only in the fullness of times shall we know if I was good at it at all! Up to now he seems a rather well rounded young chap (and I don't mean rotund round either)


BTW, you might not actually NEED these lady pilots, but who is to say they don't NEED to fly as badly as you do?


Well perhaps the husbands and children of these ladies NEED them more than aviation does and, call me "old fashioned" if you like but why would they need to fly, badly or otherwise, when they have a husband to take care of them?


Oh! one last thing - I don't fly THAT BADLY !!and anyways for a young whipper-snapper you are taking a bit of a liberty even suggesting that my flying might not be up to scratch!! However after all these years it is a bit like riding a bike !! Hope I don't fall off too soon !! Ha Ha Ha :ok:

:D Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2005 - Men Rule !!
Te he!!

Chimbu chuckles
26th Dec 2004, 04:06
Well I suspect Mercenary A is taking the piss.

Ladies good answers and points all. As a single Dad I think I certainly understand both the need to work and the desire to be a good parent...and how one sometimes interfers with the other.

Certainly as testosterone levels have been progressively reduced in cockpits over the last 60 years safety has been enhanced...in the west anyway...a combination of training it out of the guys and employing more girls...mostly the former thus far but if aircraft cockpits ever approach 50/50 girls/guys you can't argue it would be a bad thing.

I don't think it ever will reach anything like 50/50 for a multitude of reasons but mostly because women aren't attracted to aviation in the numbers men are.

Interesting about the Medical Profession above...a profession with core values closely aligned with traditional gender bias that we seem to want to deny.

Nature or nurture?

I think as a species we are more locked into roles assigned by nature than we care to admit...nature assigned the female the carer/nurturer/mother role and the male the hunter/protector role to our species millions of years ago...the gender confusion we experience in more modern times is a result of human advancement removing the need for the hunter/protector role...so men make bigger weapons and start bigger wars and try and mold society in such a way that they can make themselves feel like they are still the hunters/protectors...most men still get a primevel kick fom going to the woods with a rifle and shooting something...many still do but we all get a kick out of it, even if most of us only think we could still be good at it.

Men, mostly, feel the need to take risks to validate their manhood...this is a replacement for the adrenaline surge we got hunting big dangerous animals way back when we wore animal skins. Witness the increase of adventure/extreme sports over the last 40+ years, same thing.

It's in our genes...nothing we can do about it...no matter how much areas of society wish to deny it.

Modern life means women can do anything they want...they have the access to education and the ability to control fertility...and increasingly are paid well enough so that they can be truly independant of men. I find it interesting that as that has become more the case over the last 40 yrs we see more women saying in effect "Hey...I've been in this fcking cave looking after your kids long enough...give me that weapon I'm off to kill a wooly mammoth"

26th Dec 2004, 05:31
your answers are all excellent!

Why can't we just be able to do that which we are interesting in doing? without all this prejudice?

If a woman WANTS to fly, she should be able to!!

your answers are all weak.....

the things his mom is not too interested in!

are you sure? have you ever ASKED? of course she would have different interests... maybe she also has secrets wishes, like going camping with you etc., but has never dared to ask because of the fear of being turned down!

My son seems to like being with me and doing "men things",

what are "men things"? only that what society THINKS are men things! Women are given the job of cooking in the home (a "Woman thing"?).... but why then are some of the best chefs MEN? and do we women CARE about that? no, we let them excell at it if they are capable ... why not?

As a teenager I was interested in science. Along with the frilly girl stuff I had astronomy posters on my walls. I studied astronomy for a year... but then met a man, a pilot, and we got married. I came to Germany where I tried to become the typical "Hausfrau" that they expected me to be.
It wasn't until I was 33 that I found out about being able to learn to fly.... my ex never told me I could and I thought you could only learn if you wanted to become a professional!
My initial reason to fly was for HIM! I wanted to learn the cockpit language so I could understand the radio when I flew with him. After my first flight that changed... I decided to learn FOR ME!
And my kids didn't suffer! In fact, I think their mother, me, was a happier person.... less depressed and BORED!
I went on to get my single engine, my glider, my hot-air ballon ratings as well as my glider-tow and later instrutor and CPL.

MercenaryAli, what will your wife do when your kid is no longer home? do you think she'll still be happy? does she have enough of her OWN activities and hobbies? are you blind to her WANTS? From your answers I can't imagine that you really know her inner wishes.....

I could give some more examples, but this reply is long enough. I'll come back later ;)


26th Dec 2004, 07:32
Females in the cabin/cockpit ?

8am on Boxing day ... and I'm tuned in and have filled in the last fifty minutes on the thread..... Yup a really sad Christmas male !

But seriously- can I offer something from the rotary perspective.

Not too many will disagree with my view that since actual 'hands on' control is required 100% of airborne time, pilot skills/decisions are continuously and more in evidence when handling the helicopter and as a commercial/fixed wing ex service jock and CAA examiner, I'd like to throw in my pennorth.

There are around 3000 UK/CAA rotary licence holders and significantly more than 3% female. Having trained and examined some 200 pilots since the 70's, my log book tells me 26 were the fairer sex. AND I have to report that I have regularly observed a higher standard of helicopter handling from the ladies. It may be something to do with a 'self selection' process. (Rotary is usually perceived as more difficult and indeed when I was in the RAF it was necesary to have an 'above average' fixed wing assessment to be selected for helicopter training.) ...... and the ladies that do go for it are probably good squash/tennis/sports players with the necessary co-ordination and the required 'above average' abilities.

But for whatever reason, I just repeat, that the majorityof female pilots I have flown with, demonstrated the smooth handling, nicely co-ordinated control that is so pleasant to see and feel from the trainer's/examiners seat.

Sorry to butt in to a fixed wing/flight deck argument/discussion since I'm now a confirmed 'Rotorhead' but felt some sexual balance to the thread was overdue.

I suppose 'offshore' and 'SAR' roles must really sort the men from ... dare I say it .. the boys, but can we have some comments from that area perhaps.

Happy Christmas to all and everyone ...


PS. My wife has put the whip away now ... Just joking.

26th Dec 2004, 08:42
Good to see MAli has lumbered over here with his interesting points of view :yuk:

Dont bite hes just a wind up merchant, tried it on other threads and trying here now....yawn booooooring!

Nardi Riviera
27th Dec 2004, 21:48
Reckon I'm about to outstay my welcome. Didn't know there were so many nice sensible men out there. Must be hope after all.

Actually, Mercenary Ali is kinda cute. One may very well draft maternal care for offspring when one's own participation is limited to making them (doesn't hurt) and wait till sons are big enough for "manly" activities. Guess daughters have to stay home with mum while the boys go fishing/hunting. Pop provides all the fun things, mum is left to nag about mundane trivialities while cleaning up.

The reason for girls not being attracted to aviation? Starts in early age: Little girls are not invited to participate in technical matters, like learning the secrets of a car engine, going along on a trip to the airport, building models, etc etc. When they get older and visit these areas on their own, the males have already bonded and are reluctant to let them in. Which means that girls who have technical interests must find the knowledge despite lacking a platform. While sometimes being made fun of, and kept out of the "boys club" because they don't master the code. That's life "on the other side".

Cheer up, guys. It's not entirely your fault: Our differences are based on hormones, and we're not talking about changing nature, for heaven's sake. Just take care of the few girls who show an interest in aviation, then more will follow.
:p :E :p

Chimbu chuckles
28th Dec 2004, 02:57
Nardi then my girl must be suffering exposure overload...when she was little just being around dad was the goal...when we went out on our boat it was always just the two of us...mum was out slutting...so off we'd go for a day on the coral reefs just offshore...when she was 4 she could drive our boat at 30kts, was comfortable (ok blissfully ignorant) in the water with reef sharks and delighted in watching starfish crawl off the side of her hand. Explaning that snorkelling was a slow quiet, passtime was met with swimming around with squeels of delight and excitment emanating from her snorkel.

She'd happily spend hours on the bottom of our swimming pool practicing with my scuba gear exploring every wrinkle in the pool liner like she was discovering some new marine life form previously undescribed by science. She finally got certified for open water scuba at 12 and she loved exploring underwater caves with the new dive torch I gave her.

I smiled quietly to myself when, while on a dive trip in Thailand together just after her dive course, she stood her ground with a german tourist who was into 'speed diving'. "Zo vy are zee group always vaiting for you und your fater to catch up ya"...."well what did you see? We saw xyz!"

When we went out for a fly in our C185 she would climb into the RHS and latch on to the controls. Taxiing it was "I can do it...don't help me"...Ok babe turn right...she didn't see my feet on the rudder pedals..."See I can do it..." She was 3 at the time....couldn't even see where she was going :ok:

These days when we are home in Aus for holidays and take our Bonanza somewhere, like interstate to visit family, she sits in row 2 with a discman and whines "Are we there yet?"...seemingly zero interest in sitting up front with me and having a fly....or enjoying the view....rather put the seat back down and snooze listening to crap:} music.

At 15 (16 in feb) I have taught her to drive in our (manual) car and she's the designated driver when I have a few drinks. She finds driving our car more appealing than flying our aeroplane.:sad: She's a very good driver...although she's picked up my habit of character assasinating other drivers who cut us off in traffic..."Did you see that MORON?...what a TOOL!!":E

She's a teenager now....But I still get an arm round my shoulder and a spontaneous kiss on the cheek from time to time...in between the odd argument about just what % of life's answers (even an above average) teenager posseses...or what is suitable attire to wear outside in a Asian Muslim country. :rolleyes:

28th Dec 2004, 13:08
there's an article in the German "Spiegel" I found today.... unfortunately only in German, but it well describes the situation now.

It says there are now about 200 women pilots at Lufthansa and mentions one of them who has been flying now for 15 years and is presently a B-737 captain!


Spiegel (http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/jobundberuf/0,1518,302911,00.html)

28th Dec 2004, 13:29
I don't understand the uproar. Women pilots have been around the airlines here for 30+ years, and most major airlines have significant percentages of them actively flying today, numbering in the thousands. Many are (and have been for years) Captains. No big deal at all, unless individuals (male or female) go out of their way to make a big deal of it.

Male pilots talk about enjoying (or not enjoying) flying with certain female pilots as much as they do certain male pilots. And vice/versa. There are always individuals who are not enjoyable to fly with, and some who are less or more competent than others. But these characteristics don't seem to be determined by gender in the bigger picture.

And as to the "added cost" of employing women as pilots? Actually, anecdotal evidence hints toward women, as a group, costing less when looking at medical/injury/health care costs over the long term of a career.

28th Dec 2004, 20:35
I just caught up on this thread, rather late I know. Way back, on about Page 4, someone asked about female helicopter pilots on the North Sea, and suggested there wouldn't be many. Well, when I visited a (female) pilot friend in Aberdeen, two years ago, the company she worked for had six female pilots and 150 men. That's 4%, very similar to many of the airlines.

Other than passing on that bit of info, I have nothing to say. Despite the fact that threads like this turn up on PPRuNe with monotonous regularity, I still find it unbelievable that there are people who think gender is of any relevance at all to flying.

But what do I know? I'm just a helicopter pilot....who thought my flying ability or lack of it depended on my hands, feet, eyes, coordination, brain, and training; not my hormones. Seems some people disagree.:confused: :confused: :confused:

29th Dec 2004, 14:48
Thankfully there is a lot of enlightened discussion amongst an awful lot of chauvinistic drivel on this thread.

For those among us who hold reservations about female crew-members in the cockpit, consider another perspective:

How do you feel about the safety of your craft and pax being dependant on a female ATCO in very busy congested airspace, where said ATCO has to continually and quickly make multiple control decisions based on fast analysis of available data/info?

Kinda puts a bit of a different slant on things, doesn't it?

Nardi Riviera
29th Dec 2004, 20:28
Whirlybird: As a sensible professional, you probably got tired of this "childish crap", but perhaps airing it ever so often MAY serve some purpose. I happily jumped onto the bandwagon, then searched the site when you mentioned similar threads. Many thanks to all the gals who came out from the safe haven of the woodwork to post here.

Most threads/posts addressing the issue were not all too serious or even misplaced (Jet Blast or Agony Aunt by wannabe gals too timid to post in "real" sections – typical female trait?), but did find a few rewarding "gems", hereby link to a couple that about sums it all up and proves what gals in aviation have to deal with:

Some threads are brought to an abrupt end whenever some bloated male ego finds it suitable to drop a doggiedoo in order to have everyone turn away holding their noses, and thus closing the case. Call it whatever you wish.

Friendly banter from any guy is just fun and no problem, whereas covert "sabotage" by prejudiced conservatives who hate their territory being "invaded" by females is a totally different ballgame. "Harassment" will have different interpretations depending on gender – women are eternally tired of said angle, which they encounter everywhere. Alas, some men never EVER get tired of the male/female subject. If women try to reciprocate, it will be interpreted as sexual come-on, thus back to "base one".

Naturally it may seem unfair that the small percentage of females in aviation should be treated equal to the larger percentage males, but after all you guys have enjoyed the territory alone for ages while women were involuntary confined to the kitchen, so why not give the girls now some leeway now to make up for it?

When a man goofs professionally, fellow men will look the other way (unless they're after his position, in which case they'll kill him). When a woman makes a mistake, it's all over the grapevine (whoever claimed that men never gossip?) due to the fact that women in aviation are few and therefore more noticeable.

Most forums have posts where boys/men call out for more female participation in aviation. They need to understand that the trick is to invite/accommodate girls from early age on! When females reach the age of 20+, the eternal pressure of social conformity has influenced their role models way too long. Luckily, this changes as time goes by. In my younger days, the uncompromising option was the kitchen no matter what. Today I'd give an arm/leg to be just a few years younger and get in.

I have noted that posters from "down under" seem to have a more relaxed attitude to female pilots. Happy to hear more from you guys to alleviate the pain!

All in all, after reading all these threads, my impression is that most sane unbiased male pilots (blessed species) thoroughly enjoy the company of female co-workers (as long as the gals are able to do the job properly), and are more than happy to provide sound advice and follow-up. These guys actually are very proud when gals excel and reach their goal, contrary to what we hear from some few "dinosaurs" (young or old).


EastCoaster – your input may be a bit off-thread. We'll check in at ATC-Forum.

:D :D :D

29th Dec 2004, 23:23
Ryanair have 17 female drivers. 1 737-200 capt , 3 737-200 fo , 3 737-800 capt and 10 737-800 fo

30th Dec 2004, 09:23
Nardi Riviera,
Whirlybird: As a sensible professional, you probably got tired of this "childish crap", but perhaps airing it ever so often MAY serve some purpose.

Actually, I always post on these threads, when I happen to see them. The reason? I mentioned to another female pilot/ppruner some years ago that I wasn't going to waste my time with this kind of crap. She said that if we didn't tell it like it is, things would never change. I decided she was right. I think she's posted on this thread, though she's changed her user name so I'm not certain.

Anyway, as you say, friendly banter is totally different from real prejudice....and yes, we CAN tell the difference.

Concerning the relatively few women in aviation, I asked my 17 year old neighbour about this. She soloed on a motor glider with the ATC in minimal hours, is training to instruct for them, and wants to join the RAF. I asked her if young girls in general felt any differently to us older folks. "Oh no", she said, "It's just not a girlie thing to do, is it?"

Seems like some things never change...or change exceedingly slowly.

31st Dec 2004, 06:49
EC is not off-topic - just off. Talk about drivel!

31st Dec 2004, 13:30
Instead of being

Nardi Riviera
31st Dec 2004, 14:59
Have learned that it's not so much about what we say, but what we do: Girls must be present and actively participate, in automotive environments as well as aviation. Eventually (in another hundred years?) boys grow used to dealing with them. Seen this work during my 30 years in aviation. So there IS hope. Stay tuned.

But the threshold for girls is still quite high, as expressed by your young neighbour. Thus in the 21st century we still negotiate "girlie things" as opposed to "man things". Visit a toystore and have a nightmare!!! The male mystery to me is why most guys (i.e. the macho % of the species) can't accept and include a gal hovering around the airport and clearly showing interest. (Of course, if she's young and pretty, they'd like her to giggle and applaude their manly activities. If she's old or ugly, they'll ignore her even if she knows more about flying than some of them.) Life on the far side.

Considering EC's contribution, females have proved they make good controllers. Women are able to use both halves of the brain simultaneously (how else is wifey able to get the job done around whining kids and spouse demanding sustenance and clean socks?). Science claims that female brains are interconnected, while men use only one half at a time (able to read the paper while kids scream for assistance). What a blessing it must be. Wonder where they dig up the required "simultaneous capacity" for airline tests? Proving they can if they want to, but their priorities are obviously limited.

lod – thanks for numbers on Ryanair. Still curious regarding post from "Ms. Turret" from oz (page 6 bottom) about this alleged pilot daughter of a former chief pilot who "stormed off an aircraft down route some day" due to "sexual harassment". What woman could get her licenses sporting such attitude? "Cry-babes" would have given up long before they made it to the pointy end of an airliner. Did ask for hard facts abut the alleged "incident", if it ever happened, but the silence has been deafening. Maybe Ryanair pilots are too busy flying the line to waste spare time online? Wouldn't know.

Y'all have a happy New Year!!! Fly low and slow so ya don't hurt yourselves…
:hmm: :D :ok:

6th Jan 2005, 17:02
In Europe and USA I hear female voices but in Asia it is rare. Out of 1.900 pilots are 5 females, one is pregnant... so 4 are currently flying and the one is due to giving birth in March. By the way she is A330 and her husband B737...... does size count???