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Game Changers

Old 2nd Mar 2017, 05:56
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Game Changers

Interesting piece last night on SBS Insight in regards to Female Pilots breaking into the Industry from two of our fellow pilots Deb Lawrie (Senior Captain Tiger Airways) and Davida Forshaw (QF F/O)

You might remember the landmark case that was taken to the High Court in the late 70s when Reg Ansett refused to hire Women.

Deb is spot on. It's all about passion.



PoppaJo is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2017, 07:17
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Deb was indeed a game changer so why is it still a big deal when a pilot is female? The only people making it a big deal are the PR people, I think the pilot's themselves would prefer that they just be allowed to get on with their job.
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 08:59
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So true, Lookleft. Today I met a pilot who operates an Erickson Air Crane. She told me she had been interviewed by the press yesterday and been asked 'How does it feel to be a female pilot?' She said 'I don't know, I've never been a male pilot.'
Her crew chief was full of praise for her ability in the firefighting operation they are contracted for in WA. Why is the term 'female pilot' used by the press, when I never hear male colleagues being referred to as 'male pilots'? Apparently I'm an oddity, as a 'female aircraft builder'. Nope, I'm just a pilot and home-builder. Gender is irrelevant in this field.
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 09:10
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I thought Borghetti was the game changer?
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 10:17
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The "romance" of flying is definitely a thing of the past and now everyone is just perceived as a machine operator conforming strictly to OH&S guidelines which prevent them from harbouring any delusions about the way the job should be done.

Having said that, I met an amazing senior American captain today who could have easily been transported into 2017 from the Pan Am era. The unique qualities he exhibited for the profession were quite rare and I doubt they would exist in the biological makeover of women regardless of how competent a pilot they are. But as machine operators we are now more equal.

On another note, a memo went round the office a few weeks ago from HR saying that our organisation does not meet a balanced workforce and that a strategy will be put in place to even up the numbers. Unfortunately, our industry has always had trouble attracting female workers to it so we now wait in fear of HR tapping us on the shoulder and sending us in for a gender reassignment.
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 11:36
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I flew my first flight with a female co-pilot in 1991. We were working for Hapag Lloyd charter airline based in Hamburg operating 737 Classics.
I was British and she was German. I sensed she had been given a hard time in her simulator training because she was female. She was an un-smiling young woman and it turned out I was the first Brit captain she had crewed with.
I gave her the first leg and she flew the 737 beautifully (on autopilot of course because the airline was automation mad).

I was relaxing in the left seat enjoying the European scenery when Anya (for that was her name) spoke to me sternly saying "Please be standard. You should have Progress page on your side while I have Legs page on my side"

I thought about this before saying "Anya - it doesn't matter a rat's arse what we have on the CDU. You need to be more flexible." In retrospect that was probably a bit unfair as she had no doubt been crucified by her check pilots in simulator training for being flexible.

Anya looked at me in puzzlement and said "Please - what is a rat's arse?"

When I explained, she burst into laughter and the rest of the trip was a gem of good humour
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 17:46
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I thought Deb spoke extremely well.

I flew with her (and checked her) on the F27 - she was a very good operator indeed. I was delighted when she mentioned that once she got into Ansett she was well treated, because the crews (on the F27) were "younger and more progressive thinkers".

She was certainly well liked and respected in Ansett...
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 19:16
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Before Ansett, Deb flew a Twin Comanche VH-MED, poor girl copped some ribbing from the boys and took it with good humour. The calls over the radio would get you nailed to a cross these days, humour is now verboten!
I see no restrictions on female pilots today. One ex-Ansett girl is now a 777 Captain with EK. One thing they did change in Ansett was the 'special information book', lacking any 'special information for crew' it quickly filled up with very saucy pin-up pictures. The girls started to replace them with pictures of nude men. The book disappeared very quickly.
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Old 2nd Mar 2017, 21:34
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I had the pleasure of meeting the first female RAAF pilot (in a LONG time) to complete the Introductory Fighter Course on the Hawk - just recently finished and moving on to an F18 course (which one is still to be determined) shortly. An awesome individual with a bright future ahead.
Her biggest issue - longing to be left alone by the establishment to just "get on with the job" of being a pilot.
I wish her all the best and would encourage the RAAF to allow her to concentrate on the task at hand - it's not a big deal for HER that she's a female.
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