0 min left

When Did Women Officially Take Over the Skies? — #TBT Week of June 14

Emily Warner & Barbara Cook on Frontier Flight 244 (Photo: Frontier News via This Day in Aviation)

In the spirit of #TBT (“Throwback Thursday,” not Brazil’s Tabatinga Airport) FlyerTalk takes a look back at the events that helped shape modern aviation. Here are just a few moments from history that changed the face of the industry during the week of June 14.


June 14, 2013

After nearly a decade of development, Airbus celebrated the first flight of its next-generation aircraft — the Airbus A350 XWB. The flight was hailed as an immediate success and drew the attention of airlines around the world.

When the A350 was certified by the EASA, officials praised the manufacturer for presenting “a very mature aircraft.” As of May 31, Airbus reported 786 orders for the A350 as outstanding.

June 15, 1985

In one of the most tense hijackings in modern history, TWA Flight 847 was commandeered by two suspected Hezbollah members seeking the release of 700 prisoners being held in Israel. During the three-day crisis, the hijackers demanded the Boeing 727-200 fly between Beirut, Lebanon and Algiers, Algeria multiple times.

Only one fatality, U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, was reported among those onboard. The hijacking ultimately came to an end after an intervention, lead by president Ronald Reagan.

June 16, 1984

Frontier Airlines achieved a world’s first on a flight from Denver’s Stapleton International Airport by operating a commercial aircraft with an all-woman flight crew. Captain Emily H. Warner and first officer Barbara Cook were at the controls of Frontier Airlines Flight 244, a Boeing 737-200 with service from Denver’s Stapleton Airport to Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ken.

June 17, 1991

After being awarded one of four bilateral routes to the Soviet Union, Alaska Airlines officially opened its international service to the communist state. Alaska Airlines Flight 29 departed from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), heading for Magadan Airport (GDX). Aboard the first Boeing 727 were members of both the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council.

June 18, 1971

Happy Birthday to Southwest Airlines! After years of fighting for the right to fly, Southwest successfully overturned an injunction on June 17 that would prevent them from opening service at Dallas Love Field (DAL). The next day, the new airline begun service between DAL, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and San Antonio International Airport (SAT).

Since then, the airline has grown to be one of the biggest airlines in the U.S. and a perennial flyer favorite.

June 19, 1947

The world airspeed record was broken three times in 1947, with the first record-breaking attempt completed by Albert Boyd. Piloting a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, Boyd set an official airspeed record of 623.74 mph in the skies over Muroc, Calif.

Boyd would only hold the impressive record for two months, though, as Turner Caldwell broke the same record in August by nearly 17 mph.

June 20, 1972

Pilots around the globe officially ended a one-day strike, calling on the world’s governments to increase airport security and reduce the number of aircraft hijackings. Only 1,500 flights in the U.S. were cancelled due to the strike, which only impacted Eastern Airlines and Northeast Air.

This 24-hour strike spurred the UN Security Council to take action on the issue of aircraft hijacking.


[Photo: Frontier News, Summer 2012, #48]

Comments are Closed.