On this page we look back to some of the amazing things ISA+21 members have done in their airline careers.
Follow us on social media for more! #tbt

1979 ISA+21 Conference
August 12th, 2021

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!

Wally Funk
July 22nd, 2021

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!!

Janet Patton
June 24th, 2021

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.

Christine Albertson
June 17th, 2021

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!

Brigitte Lakah
June 10th, 2021

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!

Valerie Scott
June 3rd, 2021

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!

Carly Namihira
May 20th, 2021

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
May 13th, 2021

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
May 6th, 2021

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 
April 30th, 2021

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.

Lisa Norman 
April 22nd, 2021

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
April 8th, 2021

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!

Tara Cook
April 1st, 2021

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!

Judy Cameron
March 25th, 2021

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.

Gail Gorski
March 18th, 2021

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!

Cyd Dolliver
March 11th, 2021

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!

Davida Forshaw
March 4th, 2021

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!

Theresa Claiborne
February 25th, 2021

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!

Patrice Washington
February 11th, 2021

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!

Connie Tobias
January 28th, 2021

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
January 21th, 2021

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!

Kathy McCullough
January 14th, 2021

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
January 7th, 2021

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!

Karen Kahn
December 17th, 2020

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!

Judy Lee
December 3rd, 2020

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
November 19th, 2020

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)!

Priya Doobaree
November 12th, 2020

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!

Lynn Rippelmeyer
November 5th, 2020

ISA+21 member Captain Lynn Rippelmeyer was the first woman to pilot a Boeing 747 in 1980 for Seaboard World Airlines. She later flew for People Express, which merged with Continental and then United, where she retired after training as a Captain on the B-787 in 2013. In 1984, she was honored as a woman of the year in England; she has been featured on BBC and PBS specials, and she was even named in a question on Jeopardy!

Liz Jennings Clark
October 29th, 2020

ISA+21 member Liz Jennings Clark was the first woman hired at LIAT in the Caribbean, and later the second woman hired at Transavia Airlines in the Netherlands where she was a part of their very first all-female crew! She just flew her final retirement flight on Monday as their longest flying female captain after 31.5 years of commercial flying!

Rosella Bjornson
October 22nd, 2020

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
October 15th, 2020

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
October 8th, 2020

This is ISA+21 Charter member Emily Howell Warner. She was the first woman hired at Frontier Airlines in January of 1973 and later became the first female airline captain in the United States! After Frontier’s bankruptcy in 1986, she went on to fly for Continental Airlines, UPS, and finished her career as the FAA Air Crew Manager for United Airlines’ 737 fleet. She was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in 2014. She flew her final flight west in July of this year. She is an aviation pioneer who broke barriers, and is truly missed by many! ISA+21 members remember her here. 

ISA+21 Charter Members
October 1st, 2020

The original 21 female airline pilots who attended the very first ISA+21 conference in May of 1978 in Las Vegas. These women had a vision, broke barriers, and chartered an organization that has helped thousands of women achieve their goal of becoming airline pilots! Make sure to apply for a scholarship to follow your aviation dreams!

Claudia Simpson Jones
October 1st, 2020

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!

Stephanie Wallach
September 17th, 2020

This is ISA+21 founding member Stephanie Wallach. She was the 2nd woman to be hired at Braniff in 1975, they closed their doors in 1982, and she got hired at Alaska Airlines in 1983. She retired from Alaska in 2006, as the first female pilot to reach retirement age for the airline! The date of this newspaper article is November 12, 1977!

Terry London Rinehart
September 10th, 2020

This is ISA+21 charter member Terry London Rinehart preflighting her B737 at Western Airlines in 1976. She was one of the first women to fly for them! Western merged with Delta Air Lines, and Terry retired from Delta in 2005. She is one of the 21 charter members of The International Society of Women Airline Pilots in 1978. She comes from a family of trailblazers.. her mother, Barbara Erickson London, was a WASP!

First Female Crew at American Airlines
September 10th, 2020

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!

Beverley is one of the 21 founding members of ISA+21!

First Three Women hired at United Airlines
August 27th, 2020

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
August 20th, 2020

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!