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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Welcome aboard Ladies

A major Asian airline just had two women become the first to earn their Captain's wings. From JoonAng Daily-

Two female captains will take to the skies for a commercial airline for the first time in Korea’s 60-year aviation history, Korean Air announced Monday.

Shin Soo-jin, 39, and Hong Soo-in, 36, passed the final tests administered by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs this week, after five months of final training. The two started at Korean Air in 1996, when Shin became Korea’s first assistant captain in 1997, followed by Hong later in the year.

The aviation industry, especially in the field of technicians and pilots, has often been dubbed one of the most male-dominated sectors. The first woman to be hired as a captain for a commercial airline company was Helen Richey in 1934 at Central Airlines, which later became part of United Airlines.

“First of all, there aren’t many female applicants for commercial airline service. The training period is long and very time-consuming,” said Sim Mun-man, an official at Korean Air.

Both female captains however, say that there are many advantages for females in this field. “Now, controlling a plane doesn’t require as much physical strength, as it requires grace, accuracy and delicate handling of high-tech equipment,” said Shin.

To be a captain at Korean Air, one must have at least five years of experience serving as an assistant captain as well as having flown at least 4,000 hours. Also, written exams, including those in English, are mandatory as well.
Dram man at Marmot's Hole writes "Well seeing how often the Pilots write letters to the control tower, a written exam is a perfect way to test to test a pilot’s English abilities." I agree, that is odd sounding.

The two women pilots are certainly pioneers, but their chances of breaking the patriarchal nature of not just society but the cockpits won't be easy. I do hope bot Ms. Shin and Ms. Hong use proper use of the people in the cockpit besides themselves. KAL has a bad history of cockpit crews failing to challenge a Captain. The 1997 crash on Guam where 228 passengers were killed being the worst example.

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