Emily Howell Warner Was The First Woman Who Could Say, “This Is Your Captain Speaking…”

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Emily Howell
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How many times have you gotten on a plane and had a woman come over the cabin P.A. to make the official cockpit intro, “This is your captain speaking…”? Rarely to never (depending on how often you fly). That’s because by current industry estimates there are only around 450 women airline captains worldwide. To put that number in perspective, there are roughly 130,000 airline pilots worldwide, and of those only 4,000 are women with the majority being in the U.S.

So we wanted to know who the very first woman U.S. airline captain was. Her name is Emily Howell Warner and this is what you should know about her.

“In 1973, Warner was the first woman pilot to be hired by a scheduled US airline since Helen Richey was hired as a co-pilot in 1934. In 1976 Warner was the first woman to become a US airline captain. Her career has been recognized by multiple halls of fame, including the National Aviation Hall of Fame and National Women’s Hall of Fame. Her pilot’s uniform is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. In addition to piloting, Warner was a flight school manager in Denver, Colorado. She was a flight instructor and FAA designated flight examiner holding multiple ratings. She flew more than 21,000 flight hours and performed more than 3,000 check rides and evaluations over her career. She is retired.” – Living Legends Of Aviation


We love celebrating kickass women aviators, so be sure to check out some of the other pioneers we’ve featured:

Fly It Forward™: an initiative to encourage girls and women to consider aviation as a hobby or a career and improve gender balance in the industry

Jerrie Mock: The first woman to fly solo around the globe

Amelia Earhart: Timeless advice to women from the legendary aviatrix who needs no introduction

Jerrie Cobb: She should have been the first woman to fly in space

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