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First all-female crew?

Old 19th Feb 2017, 12:14
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First all-female crew?

Apologies if this has been posted before. It's from the Daily Telegraph, 5 May 1979.

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Old 19th Feb 2017, 15:39
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I was at Glasgow in '72 when an arriving BCal 1-11 was handled by female radar, tower and ground controllers one after the other. The pilot's voice as he vacated the runway and called GMC was, to say the least 'rather surprised'.
In fact I remember all the assistants on duty were female too with the supervisor and myself being the only males on duty.
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Old 19th Feb 2017, 21:26
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Apologies if I'm mistaken about the following. In the UK, the first all female-crewed commercial flight was on a BIA Herald some time in the 1970s. Captain Caroline Frost at the helm.
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Old 19th Feb 2017, 21:46
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You are mistaken Mooncrest. The subject flight was British Air Ferries inaugural Southend-Dusseldorf-Southend on a Dart Herald with Caroline Frost, the late Lesley Hardy, and in the cabin Liz Howard and Hildegarde Donbavand - 31st October 1977. The headline read 'Fly me, I'm Caroline! And all the rest of my crew are girls too.'

The day before, I was Caroline's first officer on a six sector day, in pretty rotten weather. She had recently converted from the Carvair, and got her command on that.

Last edited by Georgeablelovehowindia; 22nd Feb 2017 at 08:11.
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Old 19th Feb 2017, 21:57
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Well I was nearly right. I only got the airline wrong !
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 09:18
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Yep Caroline had had her command on the Carvair (ATL98) for a few years prior to converting on to the herald.Quite something at the time. If I remember correctly their were 26 leavers in the cockpit just to control the 4 engines.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 09:24
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How can you have an all-female crew? Who would get a spider out of the 1st class washroom*?



PDR

* Back in the 80s this was actually presented as a "killer argument" against an all-female crew on a USN submarine - well they were talkinmg about showers rather than washrooms. The "all female crew" idea had originally proposed to circumvent the claimed blocker to women serving on subs in the lack of segregated shower/toilet facilities on subs.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 09:36
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Hazelton Airlines here in Oz had an all female crew on one of their SAAB 340s around 1995. It's hardly a new thing these days.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 08:26
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I positioned on an Aer Lingus Shorts 360 from Dublin to Shannon. The crew were three ladies. We met them in the hotel bar, as you do, and they told us that their PR dept. were going to make a big publicity thing the following week about their first flight by an all female crew. However the captain had been caught off standby which wrecked the plan. I think they were told to keep stumm and go through the motions the following week.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 15:08
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The last time I saw Caroline she was a training captain on the Airbus A300 with Channex.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 15:41
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I note in the 'Telegraph' article that the captain is a 'brunette' and the cabin crew member is 'pretty'!
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 16:34
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Originally Posted by JW411 View Post
The last time I saw Caroline she was a training captain on the Airbus A300 with Channex.
Private message for you, JW.
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 01:55
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Lennie Sorenson makes some claims, don't know the veracity as to "first".
First female pilot on the line for Continental Airlines.
Captained the first all female jet crew (cockpit and cabin) on B727 from Guam to Narita.
Captained the first all female wide bodied pilot crew in 1987...DC10 from Honolulu, Hawaii to Sydney, Australia.
Was the first female Boeing 747Captain for a major airline in Feb 1990 and flew the last passenger Boeing 747 flight for Continental Airlines from Narita, Japan to Honolulu in Feb 1999 when they retired the 747.
Soloed the Pacific 26June1974 in a Cessna 182 from San Jose, California to Honolulu then on to Tarawa, Port Vila and Brisbane, Australia.
I was the first female to fly commercially in Hawaii and started my own Air Taxi and Air Tour company.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennie-sorenson-28985312

Emily Howell Warner was the first in the USA to make airline Captaincy in 1976 (Twin Otter with Frontier)
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 07:50
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Not airline work of course, but plenty of all-woman ATA crews in WW2!
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 08:26
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Yes indeed, much earlier on in my wobbly path to the flightdeck of a commercial transport aeroplane, I was checked out on the (then) new-fangled Cherokee by Joan Hughes. This diminutive lady needed to perch on a cushion to see over the coaming, but there was never any doubt who was the boss. "Keep it straight for Gawd's sake chum!" was one of her well-remembered epithets. Well you see, all my flying had been off grass up to then, so a hard runway with a painted centreline was a novelty.

When somebody asked me about how I felt about flying with Caroline, I was able to say that I'd been 'broken in' and taught to fly properly by a female in the first place, so no hang-ups on that score!
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 12:24
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but plenty of all-woman ATA crews in WW2
Didn't they fly solo on the bombers, Lancaster, Stirling, Halifax?
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 13:02
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Didn't they fly solo on the bombers, Lancaster, Stirling, Halifax?
Certainly the Lancaster they did. Or so I always understood.
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 13:08
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I think they had an assistant on the four-engined heavies. Joan certainly had one the day she delivered a Stirling to an airfield which was still under construction. She wasn't happy with her first approach and as she overshot, out of the corner of her eye she saw "Sundry bods diving off steam rollers." Next attempt "Not a SOUL to be seen!" I think her assistant was a young ATC cadet who announced "I say Skip - they've all gone to ground!"

Joan is credited with 11,800 flying hours, which is a joke, because she hardly bothered to keep her logbook up to date in the fifteen or so years that I knew her. One very quickly learned not to stand around looking idle for fear of being collared to fill in a few of her logbook pages, gleaned from the aircraft records "Just to keep the CAA happy, dear old thing!" (Wink.)

Google: 'Joan Hughes pilot' for a selection of photographs including the one of her standing next to the mainwheel of a Stirling.

Last edited by Georgeablelovehowindia; 22nd Feb 2017 at 17:08.
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 14:51
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While the C-5 was turning over its engines, a female crewman gave the G.I.s on board the usual information regarding seat belts, emergency exits, etc.

Finally, she said, 'Now sit back and enjoy your trip while your captain, Judith Campbell, and crew take you safely to Afghanistan '

An old M.Sgt. sitting in the eighth row thought to himself,

'Did I hear her right? Is the captain a woman? '

When the attendant came by he said 'Did I understand you right? Is the captain a woman?'

'Yes,'! said the attendant, 'In fact, this entire crew is female.'

'My God,' he said, 'I wish I had two double scotch and sodas. I don't know what to think with only women up there in the cockpit.'

'That's another thing, Sergeant,' said the crew member,

'We No Longer Call It The Cockpit'

'It's The Box Office.'
I remember the original somewhere. Still searching
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Old 22nd Feb 2017, 14:57
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All female crew

In 1984 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, before announcing the winners of the various SAC Bombing Competion trophies (The RAF Tornados entered for the first time and did extremely well), the Station Commander introduced a team of dancing girls onto the stage, dressed in coloured leotards, for a display of coordinated 'bumps and grinds'; then introduced them as the entire crew of Tanker 12345.
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