Finally getting into the cockpit by Nina Anderson


Back in the 1960s and 1970s it was almost impossible to become a professional airplane pilot. The early women pioneers had similar difficulty and only those who made spectacular feats of airmanship got the notariety.

When I started flying, only a few women had broken into the professional ranks. I eventually worked my way up to a level of proficiency where I was hired as a commuter pilot and because of my gender the even was a feast for the local media. I have no idea why the general public figured women couldn't fly and when the did it became big news.

Eventually I got hired to fly corporate jets for a major company and yet still the media attention made the male pilots jealous. Most of the women flying for corporations and airlines inthe 1970s and 1980s were novelty, but we paved the way for the thousands of women who now command even the space shuttle. I wrote about all the trials and tribulations of the journeys of the early women aviators right through modern day in a book, "Flying Above the Glass Ceiling." We were no different than many women in other male-dominated professions, but because of the glamour of aviation we seemed to stand out. It was a great ride...