Women pilots are few and far in between. But as far as Black women at the helm of an aircraft’s control wheel? Forget it.
Two Black women decided to bust a far-too-long in the making record last week. Atlanta-based First Officer Dawn Cook and Detroit-based Capt. Stephanie Johnson flew a mainline flight together in the cockpit.
The best part? It wasn’t merely left to some kind of fortunate happenstance. After learning that Johnson was planning to fly out of Detroit last Sunday, Cook decided to act. She reached out to Johnson to facilitate the flight together, thus making history at the end of Black History Month.
Johnson is also Delta's first African-American female captain. In recent years, the airline company has frequently come under fire after several passengers complained about racially-driven incidences. In February of this year the company launched their “Delta’s Very Own Heroes” series, which spotlighted Delta’s African-American employees’ achievements within the company.
"There are so few women in this profession and too many women who still don’t think of it as a career option," Johnson said in an interview posted on the company’s website. "When I was hired by Northwest Airlines, there were 12 African-American women airline pilots in the country at the major airlines, and I knew all of their names.”
Johnson was also hired as Northwest Airlines’ first African-American woman pilot in 1997, according to her interview.