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Alaska Airlines' First Flight Piloted by Two African-American Women

Alaska Airlines added to its own history with their first-ever flight commanded by two African-American women pilots. Captain Tara Write and First Officer Mallory Cave operated the carrier's historic flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Portland (PDX). ( More...

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Fazal Khan 19
First of all, congrats to Alaska Airlines and this crew, secondly, I am a volunteer at the Tuskegee Airmen National Air Museum at Detroit City Airport (KDET) where we are involved in providing free aviation and rocketry training to local kids. The program is open to all but due to our location most students are African American. We teach aviation to 5th thru 8th graders at two local middle schools. Every Thursday night we teach Rocketry and Private Pilot Ground school at KDET, as part of the ground school our volunteer CFI's actually give the students free flight lessons in the Museum owned tralining airplanes. I think we'll have a few more young ladies from our class join the ranks of Tara and Mallory in the next few years.
AWAAlum 10
To the many wondering why this is news, or the insanity of it actually being news: it's news because here and now, in the early stages of the 21st century, we still recognize the different races. Personally, I celebrate the differences. I love the cultures and differences. I can't get past the thought of how bland humanity would be without our differences.
Jamar Jackson 32
They deserve special attention because this is out of the ordinary for an airline flight crew in the United States. Probly over 90 percent Caucasian male. This will inspire minority females to enter aviation. I was inspired to become a pilot because I saw a black coast guard pilot at an air show when i was a kid.
It is fantastic and sad to me as well. It is almost hard to believe it took reaching the year 2018 for it to even be possible.
Emily Leighton 13
"why does it matter what race/gender they are" *takes one look at comments section*
RECOR10 -1
You may notice that it is NOT White Anglo-Saxon men who pontificate about the "success" of the medias idea of a self described "underclass".
canuck44 27
Personally I am tired of the stratification of society by skin color, gender, ethnicity, gender, religion etc. I am only concerned about merit whether in the operating room or a cockpit. We rely on the airline to place the best qualified individuals available to sit up front irrespective of any of their other characteristics.
Dave Mills 29
Probably wouldn't make a difference to anyone as long as the folks up front are qualified, period, as you said. However, I'd bet most of us had role models growing up. I think their message is not so much aimed at old white guys like me, but to young girls of color. Their encouraging message is that, "Yeah, you can do this, too."
KBartlett 4
Dave, you're on-point. I would not have pursued a career in aviation and engineering without encouragement from many of my female mentors (of all ethnicities.)
Yeah! That is exactly it.
RECOR10 -6
No, that is not their message. That is a fact. I see it EVERY DAY working in healthcare.
As someone who grew up with a family member being one of the Tuskegee Airmen, plus being Black/Native American, and having a son who looks up at my great uncle who was that Tuskegee Airman, I can safely and genuinely say that your statement is a crock, and that yes, my son believes that yes, he can do this too.

I wonder if you'd say the same to all of those other women who looked up to BOTH Amelia Mary Earhart and Amelia Rose Earhart, and thought to themselves "hey, I can do this too."
Mark Thomas 4
AMEN! As long as the two people up front are qualified, who cares!?
belzybob 0
If it was the first blind crew, well that would be something to talk about.
Dave Rose -5
I’m sure we will be reading about these two down the road...
Scott Wiggins -2
Dr. King asked for a color-blind society 50 years ago. We will never get there as long as the government and the media promote the stratification you mention. Unfortunately, the DNC gets tens of millions of votes "promoting" race and gender stratification.
John Wyer -5
I agree with Canuck44. Why is their race important? Are they qualified? That's all we need to know. Actually, this shouldn't even be of interest. We should be able to feel comfortable with airlines' choices for flight deck crews without regard for race, gender, etc. Are we waiting for the first flight deck crew piloted by trannies? In this day and age, more than ever, people can achieve their goals if they will apply themselves. We just got through with the first president of color. That should be an incentive for everyone to work to reach their goals.
Mike Mohle -5
What are the chances that both of them emigrated from [some country in] Africa, became US Citizens, and are now flying as a crew for Alaska Airlines? The odds are astronomical!

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Jim Welch 3
I hope you are banned from further participation in comments for this.
This is a site that recognizes firsts in the industry.
Your hateful, bigoted opinions have NO PLACE HERE.
If you don’t have an AVIATION ACCOMPLISHMENT statement, please fell free to express it somewhere else.
Have a Beautiful Day
TechnoDan -1
Yes, free speech for me, but not for thee. Spoken like a true love and tolerance leftist.
Randy Marco 0
Factually, Recor speaks like the ignorant, racist, hating dolt that he is and by extension the obvious underacheiver that he is.

Truth be told he has to knock women and people of color to attempt to build up his low self-esteem due to his incompetence... typical Repugnant blames others for his failed existence.
Rob Palmer -7
Family history research tells me that I appear to be descended from an Irish prisoner taken by Cromwell and sold into slavery to be sent to Barbados to labor on a sugar plantation. Enter Charles II who outlawed all white slavery, and freed those so occupied in Barbados. Luckily my ancestor escaped to Massachusetts and is reported to be the first Irish Catholic in New England. What puzzles me is the fact that many blacks do not want to hear this; like a profession, they want to be the only slaves. This is most common among less well educated people.
What does that have to do with two African American women flying a jet?

Give me a break, act Irish not white!

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serge LOTH -3
I totally agree with you Canuck44, next one wil be"First 787 piloted by 2 aliens" and following by "First Piper Cub piloted by 2 females Aliens"...ridiculous.. If they are able they are able..point.
AWAAlum 1
More likely "the first entirely pilotless".
AWAAlum 1
LOL I see the down vote...someone isn't staying current.
Leo Cotnoir 10
It is a sad commentary on our society that this should be worthy of note.
erisajd 8
yes - because in a classless raceless society =- no one would care. But since EVERYTHING is about class and race - you can't escape it. It's racist and sexist as heck because if you had a headline that say 'two white males flew an airline flight' no one would bat an eyelash - because no one SHOULD care who is up front.

I was on a Southwest flight on Wednesday, both pilots were white females. So what?
Perhaps you missed the squawk that was here a few months ago about there being a completely UNMANNED Southwest Airlines flight - one that was even mentioned by the First Officer up in the flight deck. They announced that it was an all-female crew, from the Caption, to the FO, to all of the flight attendants onboard. Passengers thought they meant that it was a drone or no-one was flying the aircraft, until they caught the joke that it was all women on the flight.

That article made national news.
amacnabb 0
AWAAlum 6
That may be, but at least we're making progress.
Daniel Simon 3
It’s a question of qualification and merit.
Happy to know this new!
Jim Welch 9
Looking at the negative comments here are a clear sign that there are some still out here in Aviation that are SO bigoted, it turns my stomach.
These pilots are a FIRST, and send a STRONG MESSAGE to the young girls & women of EVERY COLOR that Yes, WE CAN DO THIS!!!
Be proud of them.
Be proud of their accomplishments.
Be PROUD that, FINALLY, our girls are able to follow their dreams....

The haters will always hate, but REAL AVIATORS don’t throw stones at Aviators that are more than likely more qualified and/or talented than themselves.

Scott Wiggins 3
"more than likely more talented." Right, there has been selective hiring based on diversity rather than competence for many decades now. So, I will have to disagree with your assessment... Back in the 90s, the word on the street was white guys need not apply at United. I met a retired United Captain years ago who fumed about incompetent pilots who were paid to "not" fly. The company wouldn't fire them for fear of a lawsuit. His words not mine. An Admiral in the Naval Air Training Command told the instructors in Corpus Christi that minorities would get their wings, period! This was in the early nineties. By the late nineties four woman were sent home from one Carrier Air wing. The CAG said they didn't meet standards required for shipboard operations. These jobs are too important to let PC come before competence and merit. Political correctness in hiring has tainted the accomplishments of minorities. These two pilots may be the best in the business, but who really knows as standards were compromised long ago to meet race/gender quotas.
Jim Welch 5
This being Memorial Day weekend, please share your opinion with every Colored Vet who served in the US Armed Forces.
Pretty sure any “discrimination” you feel a white person has “suffered” will pale in comparison (see what I did there?).

As a guy who’s entire life has been consumed in Aviation, I celebrate EVERY first in the industry and GA.

I’m fairly certain that your comment would have been more at home when men were nay-saying Amelia Earhart’s accomplishments.
Randy Marco 0
Kind of like the standards were compromised.... by FINALLY "allowing the Tuskegee Red Tails" to fly escort and went on to have the best record in the air Corp.

Your comments are racist and ignorant, at least now we know where you stand, sick as it is!

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Jim Welch 4
When it’s a First in this industry, yes, I and 99.999999999 % of is WILL celebrate it.

Please put on some gloves.
Your knuckles are dragging.
Edw Sanderson 2
Your a sick, nasty puppy
Randy Marco 1
Recor.... we are well aware you are ignorant racist!
Jim Stulken 5
Ha, Gender still plays a big part in airline crews makeup.
I know a lady that had taught flying for years and had CFI11 in single engine and twin land.
She went through he-l to get to be first officer for a major airline.
Left teaching to fly turboprops for a popular company and passed all their simulators.
Got stuck with company Captains that treated her like sh--. Like going on hands and knees down center isle carpet with lint roller after every customer trip. Left in hot plane to wait for customers while Captain was in FBO enjoying AC and drinks...with customers.
After watching these expert Captains break FARS one after another she quit.
Went to school for another four months with another northern state airline and was put on reserve that never ended.
After trying to quite the fake airline school business fellow airmen told her she has the skills don't quit.
She applied ONE MORE TIME with another major airline and went to school at Huston for four months and is now living her dream. A little late in life but....

So, if you see a qualified female starting up front she has earn those three strips.
Jim Stulken 1
You have to remember these airline schools charge the student a fee ($$) for this training.
If the new first officer don't full-fill their contract they owe the school money.
This lady told me she owes $24000,for non-filling her contracts to these two schools.
Not only must a new airman get the required hours on their own but get ripped off by non-performing schools that have no intention of moving them on.

Now, she says the crews she works with are the finest to be with and learns more on every flight.
dacat53 4
I have over thirty years in the airline industry. One of the greatest joys in the business was how diversified the industry is from ground to cockpit. One of the few industries were being a crew member was based on training, talent and a commitment to parallel goals. I have a daughter who is a captain on a large business jet. A few months back the cockpit was also all female. She found it insulting when news got out and a big deal was made about an all female cockpit. One can't be a successful pilot based solely on color, gender, size, religion etc. You have to be the best at what you do ... period!
Jim Welch 5
This headline should have been news 70 years ago, and looong overdue.
You Go Girls!!!
Greg Szanyi 3
Nice accomplishment for Alaska Airlines and these two ladies.👍
The colour and religion doesn't matter the priority is merit if the person on merit we must appreciate his services.
RECOR10 -9
By the down vote you got, you can see that the ignorance of the liberal ideals will always used <race-color-religion> as an reason for, and lack of success. It certainly can not be personal merit. Someone helped them succeed (or fail). Just ask the idiots in the Liberal Media.

I wonder when the Liberal Media will go after the Diamond business internationally. Wait...Hollywood loves Jewelry.
Kobe Hunte 6
you have one heck of a bad reputation on FlightAware buddy
Jim Welch 6
I just Fact Checked that for you;
It seems it was the Democratic Party in the U.S.A that drafted and PASSED the bill to forbid the importation and/or sale of Blood Diamonds in the USA.

Next ridicules statement you’d like me to fact-check for you???
Randy Marco 3
Recor isn't interested in facts... he ONLY believes in alternative reality spewed by the Repugnant's, Faux commentary and herr trumpf!
Dean Tark 3
Relax.. it is like what captain says, "..little Airline's history in making". Congratulate, celebrate and compliment them. Little things mean a lot to others.
Congratulations for reaching milestone crew!!
Kobe Hunte 1
The whole thing is trying to say.... that everybody is equal... that only men can fly planes.
This is proof that men and women should be treated equal and that they are capable of it.
Kobe Hunte 2
that not only men can fly planes*
patrick baker 1
this ought to be trumpeted about so that similar young ladies in search of their calling might rule this work as a possiblilty. Encouragement is a good thing, and if any passenger has discomfort after noticing the complexions of these or any other ladies up front, they should stop, turn around, and take the train. I remember a picture of the first all-women flight crew of a C-141, and remembered how wonderful that was. NOw it is commonplace, so that is progress of a sort.
john mccoy 1
can we all just say congrats no matter race or gender.? remember we awake each day and have a whole lot to b thnkful for. congrats to these two ladies and congrats to all you guys success and accomplishments as well.
RECOR10 -5
Exactly, but two qualified people at the pointy end would not then be a story, nor would it attempt to divide the nation as the "Liberal" idiotic media intends.
serge LOTH 1
Finally what it can be said: the tittle of the article is really a success!!! lol
john Gargiulo 0
It does not matter about race or sex, what matters is are they the most qualified crew available, this should not be a showboat issue, it about time in type of aircraft and quality of flying experience. When they make this a publicity stunt it scares the hell out of me. Could this crew land the SW plane that had the engine and window failure recently, it not then they should not be together. We have a real shortage of pilots in this county and the airlines are moving new pilots up the ladder too quickly and their will be a disaster due to this, this has nothing to do with sex or race.
william eacker -4
Wow that's news. I wonder what airline will claim to have the first all tranny crew?
Mike Mohle 4
Air Trans...... LOL

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RECOR10 -8
Will you please leave facts out of the liberal agenda? Now, off to my safe space to cry.
Ian Murray 0
I see their ranks/qualifications first not that they are African-American women. our industry should have no time or place for this.
steve jenney -1
why is this news? good for Alaska I guess not sure why it was publicized as an African-American landmark. I am sure the two pilots are proud of their heritage and worked hard to get where they did every other pilot who sat in the cockpit that day.
Charles Baker -2
AAaviator -1
When you attach gushing fanfare to this so-called "achievement", the subtext might as well say: "the reason why this achievement is so remarkable is because women are inferior, especially black women, so therefore we expect much less of them, and if, against all odds and probability, they somehow exceed our expectations in spite of their inferiority, then such a fluke would be cause for special mention and celebration." Personally, I believe it's patronizing, if not insulting to make a big deal out of something a woman (of any color) has been able to do for a long time. You might as well congratulate them for being potty trained while you're at it!
chop12345 0
If the crew in the cockpit was all female and the attendants in back were all males THEN I would say it is newsworthy!
Rh Meyers -1
Congratulations to two talented pilots. I just wonder from where it was in Africa that Alaska Air recruited them. Or wait!! Maybe they are actually Americans working for Alaska Air and just misidentified.
honza nl -1
Are they born in Africa ? No.
Are they living in Africa ? No.

So they are simply American women, not African-American.
These pilots' names aren't African American, and, of course, the flight originated from SFO.
And what the hell do their names have to do with anything? My name isn't "African American", yet I am half Black/American Indian. This is about as baseless and stupid as RECOR10's comments above.
Their names show they don't identify with their proud African ancestry. To be politically correct in modern times, one must have the proper identity.
By that logic, George Washington Carver didn't identify with his "proud African Ancestry". But here you are, celebrating his ancestry by eating something he invented.

Again, keep it up with the idiotic statements. It truly shows what the problem is in this country, and where and who those problems lie with.
What part of Africa were they from? :-(


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