On this page we look back to some of the amazing things ISA+21 members have done in their airline careers.
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1989 ISA+21 Conference: Maui
New York Coincidence
Throwback to 1979 when ISA+21 member Laura Mason signed up with the Navy ROTC when she heard they were allowing women to fly! After training and several years of active duty, her aviation journey led her to the Women in Aviation conference where she got hired at ExpressJet. She is now a B737 Captain at Alaska Airlines! Laura is giving back and inspiring the next generation of female pilots, and will be volunteering at the ISA+21 booth at the Women in Aviation conference next week.. stop by our booth 447 to say hi!
Holly Ann Fulton Mullins
The ISA+21 scholarship window is open, so we continue our special #tbt series to highlight past scholarship winner Sarah Rovner, who began her flying career when she started pursuing flight training as a hobby. She soloed a Cessna 172 in 2011 and fell in love with aviation, eventually making a career change from Network Engineer to Airline Pilot in 2015! While working at the regional airlines, she looked for every opportunity to get involved with the aviation community, and started volunteering with ISA+21 at conferences and working on the website. After several years of applying for scholarships, she was awarded an ISA+21 B737 type rating scholarship, & was hired at a major airline a few months later! She now flys a B757/767 for United Airlines and is thankful for the amazing mentors and organizations that helped her succeed with her aviation career path!
The ISA+21 scholarship window is open, so this special #tbt highlights a past scholarship winner! Also, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we throw back to 2015 when ISA+21 member Camila Turrieta was awarded an ISA+21 B737 scholarship. Camila at the time was a pilot at Republic Airways. Today, she is a pilot on the Airbus 320/321 flying for JetBlue Airways out of New York City! She’s also the first Latina to hold a national position as Chair of the President’s Committee for Diversity & Inclusion with Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA)!
1978 ISA+21 Conference
ISA+21 has a rich history, dating back to 1978, when 21 inspiring women attended the very first conference in Las Vegas! Last month, over 100 women convened at the 2021 conference in Atlanta to Inspire, Support, and Advocate for each other, and female airline pilots worldwide!
1997 ISA+21 Conference
With our annual conference just around the corner, we are highlighting an ISA+21 conference from each decade! This week’s #tbt, we throwback to 1997 when this awesome group of female airline pilots convened in Amsterdam, Netherlands to Inspire, Support, and Advocate for each other, and for future generations of women!
1988 ISA+21 Conference
With our annual conference just around the corner, we are highlighting an ISA+21 conference from each decade! This week’s #tbt, we throwback to 1988 when 52 female airline pilots convened in Rome, Italy, Inspiring, Supporting, and Advocating for each other, and for future generations of women!
1979 ISA+21 Conference
With our annual conference just around the corner, we are highlighting an ISA+21 conference from each decade! For this week’s #tbt, we throwback to 1979 when 24 female airline pilots convened in Miami Florida, Inspiring, Supporting, and Advocating for each other, and for future generations of women!
This special Throwback Thursday recognizes honorary ISA+21 member Wally Funk! She started flying as a teenager, and in the 60’s, she passed NASA’s space program test. She was held back from space because she was a woman. She didn’t let that hold her down.. she became the first female safety inspector at the FAA, and has flown over 19,000 hours.. and just this week, she was aboard Blue Origin’s launch to space!!
This throwback brings us to 1999, when ISA+21 member Janet Patton was a flight engineer on the B727 and experienced her first all-female crew at American Airlines! Flight: Chicago O’Hare – Orlanda – Chicago O’Hare.
In honor of Father’s Day, we throwback to 2004 when ISA+21 member Christine Albertson was a brand new flight student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and her Dad flew an airplane to SIU for American Airlines’ Career Day! Now, 17 years later, she and her Dad are BOTH pilots for American Airlines, and Christine is also a volunteer board member for ISA+21..Inspiring, Supporting, and Advocating for female airline pilots around the world!
This week’s throwback highlights ISA+21 member Brigitte Lakah.. from an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University pilot in 1985, to a new-hire pilot at UPS Airlines in 1994! Brigitte is now a B747 captain for UPS, and was inducted into the ISA+21 Captain’s Club at our last conference! She continues to Inspire, Support, and Advocate for female airline pilots around the world!
Throwback to May 1989, when ISA+21 member Valerie Scott was a flight engineer on the B727 for United Airlines! She just retired with over 25,000 flight hours last month as a Captain on the B777, and celebrated with some of her ISA+21 sisters and friends! In retirement, she plans on flying the CAF Devil Dog B-25, sharing the story of the WASPs and others who paved the way!
In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month, we throwback to 2012 when ISA+21 member Carly Namihira was a flight student at University of North Dakota. Today, she is a Captain on the CRJ700/900 flying for Endeavor Air out of New York City!
Kaori Ogasawara Paris
In honor of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month, we throwback to 1998 when ISA+21 member, Kaori Ogasawara Paris became a flight attendant with United Airlines, and soon thereafter, began training as a pilot through the Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program! She now has flown both the A320 and the B777 for United! She also volunteers with the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l and the Professional Asian Pilots Association!
Kyoko Kimura & Kara Hatzai
Throwback to 1998 when ISA+21 members Kyoko Kimura and Kara Miller Hatzai were both Flight Attendants for American Airlines, and had a dream to become pilots! Now, Kyoko is a B757-767 pilot for Delta Air Lines and Kara is a B777 pilot for United! They both also volunteer on the ISA+21 Board of Directors, Inspiring, Supporting and Advocating for female airline pilots worldwide.
Anitra Doss Ruth
A very special Throwback Thursday this week for ISA+21 member Anitra Doss Ruth, who flew for Braniff Airlines in the 1980s and was hired by PanAm in 1996 as a Captain on the Airbus 300 jumbo jet! Anitra has recently flown west, and is remembered and admired by many as a trailblazer in commercial aviation.
Throwback to 1987 when ISA+21 member Lisa Norman graduated with the “Top Gun Award” from her commercial pilot training! She is now a B787 Captain for Qantas, and recently flew over the Sydney Harbour Bridge for their 100th birthday celebration!
Mary Bush Shipko
Throwback to 1976 when ISA+21 charter member Mary Bush Shipko was the first female pilot hired at Hughes Airwest! She is one of the 21 charter members of our ISA+21 non-profit organization 43 years ago! She’s the author of the incredible and eye-opening autobiography “Aviatrix,” and also collaborated on “Women Who Fly,” a collection of many women’s amazing stories! Mary is a trailblazer that helped pave the way for women in the flight deck!
Throwback to 1999 when ISA+21 member Tara Traynor Cook piloted this A-4 Skyhawk in theU.S. Navy! She was hired as a pilot for Continental Airlines in 2005, and is now a Captain and Instructor on the B757/767 for United Airlines! She is also the President of our ISA+21 non-profit organization, Inspiring, Supporting, and Advocating for female airline pilots around the world!
Throwback to 1978 when ISA+21 member Judy Cameron was the first female pilot hired at Air Canada! She retired in 2015 as a captain on the B777, and is now a director with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation, which has an annual Air Canada scholarship in her name! She became an ISA+21 member 41 years ago, Inspiring, Supporting, and Advocating for female airline pilots around the world! She was also featured on a Canadian postage stamp in 2016 for her trailblazing career.
Throwback to 1978 when Gail Gorski was the first woman pilot hired by United Airlines! She was a Charter Member of ISA+21, and was crowned the Kentucky Derby Queen of 1972! She was a captain on the 747 until 2015. Captain Gorski has since passed, however her memory and inspiring story lives on!
ISA+21 member Cyd Dolliver was hired as a pilot by Western AirLines in December of 1978, who was acquired by Delta Air Lines in 1987. She joined ISA+21 in 1979 and has attended 20 out of 40+ conventions. She was a flight engineer on a B727 and a First Officer on the B767-400/500 flying International, before she retired from Delta Air Lines in 2005 as a Captain on the B757/767!
Throwback to 2001, when ISA+21 member Davida Forshaw flew this B747 from Sydney to Honolulu! She now flys the B787 for Qantas, and is also a Board Member for our ISA+21 non profit organisation: Inspiring, Supporting, and Advocating for woman airline pilots around the world!
In honor of #blackhistorymonth, this #tbt goes back to 1981, when ISA+21 member Captain Theresa Claiborne was the first African American woman pilot in the United States Air Force! In 1990, she continued her trailblazing career as a pilot for United and is currently a captain on the B757/767, soon to be a B787 Captain!
Our #tbt this week highlights Captain Patrice Washington, a commercial airplane pilot originally from the Bahamas. She was the first black graduate of Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, the first woman pilot of Bahamasair, the first black woman captain of a major U.S. air service, and first black female pilot hired by UPS!
Throwback to 1982 when ISA+21 member Connie Tobias was a First Officer for a regional airline. By May 1984 she was hired by the major airline, Piedmont, where she became captain in 1986. She has flown over 70 different kinds of aircraft including the F-28, B-727, B-737, B-757, B-767, A320, and A330. One of the many aircraft Connie flew was a 1903 Wright Flyer exact replica in which she made aviation history by being the only aviator to equal the flight of the Wright Brothers! She also flew an original 1909 wing-warping Bleriot to re-enact the flights of the legendary Harriet Quimby. Loving that education opens doors and opportunities, Connie has endowed an aviation scholarship in Harriet Quimby’s name for young aviators. Connie retired from American Airlines in March of 2015 and now travels the world bicycling, hiking and exploring.
Fiorenza de Bernardi
Throwback to 1969 when ISA+21 member Fiorenza de Bernardi was the captain of this Yak40 in Italy! She was the first woman in Italy to become an airline pilot! She also was the first female mountain pilot, and the first woman to pilot a DC-8! Her father, Mario de Fiorenza, was a famous aerobatic pilot, winner of the 1926 Schneider Cup!
Throwback to 1981 when ISA+21 member Kathy McCullough was a flight engineer on a Boeing 727 for Northwest Airlines! She was one of only 4 female pilots! She retired as a 747 Captain from Delta in 2007. She now writes aviation books, and is an artist and photographer!
Northwest Airlines All-Female Crew
Throwback to April of 1997 when this trio of amazing women flew the first all-female transpacific flight for Northwest Airlines! ISA+21 member Suzanne Skeeters (FO), along with Sharon (Finch) Bigelow (CA) and Eva Akata-Eglinton (SO) piloted the DC-10 from Honolulu to Japan’s Kansai International Airport!
To honor Wright Aviation Day, we are excited to highlight ISA+21 Charter member Captain Karen Kahn. Karen was the 4th woman hired at Continental Airlines as a flight engineer on a B727! She retired from Continental (now United) in 2014 as a captain on the B757/767. Earlier this year, she received the Wright Brother’s Master Pilot Award! She still flys a Beechcraft 55 Baron, and is a motivational speaker / writer with a special passion towards youth in aviation!
I grew up loving horses and dogs and history. I showed horses through most of my childhood and teens, received a BA in History, then had an opportunity to exercise race horses at the track for four years. While in college I was invited to ride in a G2 which set off all kinds of alarms of “I just have to learn to do this!” and had my private pilots license within months (soloing 50 years ago this month!). In the early 70s, the military came to my school to recruit even though Vietnam was winding down. I talked to the Navy and Air Force but they told me they would NEVER have women in their cockpits! I said ok and walked away. Since I knew how to ride horses, I got a job on the race track and continued to fly eventually earning my advanced ratings, Seaplane rating being my pride and joy at the time, and flew Part 135 and instructed. I was in the right place at the right time in 1977 when I started the interview process with United and was hired in April 1978, as the 5th female pilot. I never took this opportunity for granted, and did my best to be a good employee and help fellow pilots through Pilot Assistance programs, mainly Professional Standards. I am so grateful for the 38 1/2 years of working with truly stellar people and flying the 727, 737, 757, 767, 777 and DC-10. Some highlights include the beauty of earth, Military Air Charter trips, tea time around the world, all female crews, seeing our women advance in positions in the training center, domicile Chief Pilots and system Chief Pilot at UAL and other airlines. Mostly, I’m thankful that I could raise my two boys and introduce them to the world because of my job. I will always be grateful for the years of friendship and fun with my fellow pilots, including the men! It was an honor to fly my retirement trip with Missy Hohnstein Phillips and Mary Berlingeri Meade and have several close friends and family on my final flights to Paris and back. I’m four years into my retirement chapter, volunteering, taking classes (history and poly sci, of course), training with my Jack Russell Terrier to compete in Trials and having more time to read and socialize, even if it is mostly through Zoom and FaceTime right now. I relish the close friendships I’ve made over the years and times shared with ISA+21 friends.
Ann Marie Tazzar
Meet ISA+21 Member Captain Ann Marie Tazzar: born and raised in Scotland, moved to the US to put herself through flight school in 1989. After flight instructing, flying night freight and contracting for the US Navy she got hired as an Flight Engineer on the B727 for American Airlines in 1998! She is now a B737 Captain, and is the Safety Chair at her Washington DC base. She one of the few women who has ever served on the National Safety Committee for the Allied Pilots Association. Ann Marie earned her Aviation Safety & Security Program certification from USC in 2015 (only 2,500 people in the world have ever held this certificate, including astronauts Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 & Alan Bean of Apollo 12, as well as the famous Sully)!
ISA+21 member Captain Priya Doobaree doing her flight training in a TB9-Tampico in 1998 at EPAG in France! She started flying commercially at just 21 years old on the ATR42/72, and 4 years later, she was flying the A330/340! In 2012, Priya became the first ever Mauritian female Captain! She currently is an A320 Captain for Air Mauritius flying all over Asia and Africa. She also spearheaded the Flypink campaigns for breast cancer awareness at Jetstar Asia and Air Mauritius!
Liz Jennings Clark
This is ISA+21 member Rosella Bjornson, she was hired at Transair in 1973 on the F28, as the first female pilot to work for a commercial airline in Canada! After a couple airline mergers, she retired from Air Canada in 2004. Rosella was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2018, she received the Alberta Order of Excellence from Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell!
Maria Zaidie Haddad
Meet ISA+21 member Marie Ziadie Haddad, who was the first female pilot hired at Air Jamaica in 1979. In 2011, she was honored as an aviation pioneer and trailblazer by the Jamaican Civil Aviation Authority!
Emily Howell Warner
ISA+21 Charter Members
Claudia Simpson Jones
The International Society of Women Airline Pilots recognizes this awesome mother-daughter pair! Claudia Simpson Jones is an ISA+21 charter member. In the first picture (1980), Claudia and her step-daughter Cathy Jones were featured in the LA Times when they flew for different carriers. Later in their careers, they both worked for Southwest Airlines, and got this great photo when they flew together for Claudia’s retirement flight!
Terry London Rinehart
First Female Crew at American Airlines
The very first all-female crew at American Airlines on December 30th, 1986! Beverley Bass (CA), Terri Queijo (FO), and Tracy Prior Welch (FE). They flew a Boeing 727 from DCA to DFW. The crew schedulers at the time even flew up to DCA the night before to surprise them and be on this iconic flight!
First Three Women hired at United Airlines
An iconic picture of the first three women hired at United Airlines in January of 1978! Brand new second officers Gail Gorski, Debbie Powers, and Jean Harper, pictured in a DC-10 in San Francisco. Gail and Jean are two of the 21 charter members of ISA+21!
ISA+21 Exhibit at the International Womens Air & Space Museum
Throwback Thursday to the 1980’s when these awesome ISA+21 members created an exhibit on women airline pilots at the International Women’s Air and Space Museum!