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Black people keep on achieving groundbreaking firsts.

Alaska Airlines stepped into the future on Mother’s Day when two Black women pilots flew a plane across the West Coast. The two pilots were part of the airlines’ first-ever Black women flight crew. Yes, this is #BlackGirlMagic!

Captain Tara Wright and first officer Mallory Cave flew Flight 361 from San Francisco to Portland Sunday, KTVA, an Alaska news outlet, reported. They stepped out of the cockpit to talk to passengers and film a Facebook video before their Boeing 737’s takeoff.

Both pilots realized that they had done something incredible, especially given that it’s rare to see an all-female flight team, as well as one with women of color, on a major airline.

“Finally, you’re sharing a pretty interesting piece of Alaska Airlines history this morning,” Wright told passengers, who erupted into applause. “You’ll be piloted by two female African-American pilots for the first time in the airline’s history.”

The women’s achievement is also remarkable given that Alaska Airlines, formed in 1932, and other airlines have struggled with representation of people of color. More than 72 percent of the airline industry employees are White and 60 percent are male, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Specifically looking at flight crews across various airlines, 91 percent of pilots and 73 percent of flight attendants are White. Just 9 percent of pilots are female as compared to nearly 75 percent of flight attendants.

Wright and Cave’s victory is also incredible considering that Alaska has no sizeable population of African Americans. The population is made up of 3.8 percent of Blacks, as compared to 66.1 percent of Whites, according to U.S. Census data collected last July.

It’s clear that the women have paved the way for more ladies of color to step into the cockpit.


Two Black Women Made History This Week As Pilots For Alaska Airlines was originally published on

23 thoughts on “Two Black Women Made History This Week As Pilots For Alaska Airlines

  1. SeeSaw on said:

    Congrats to the Airline for giving these 2 ladies their opportunity to enjoy the fruit of their labor. They deserve every uplifting comment.

  2. Pamela on said:

    AWESOME!!! You make me so proud to be an African American woman. Now our little girls can see what they can strive for. They casn become anything their heart desires!!!

  3. wgailb on said:

    While these women deserve the coudos that they have received, there are more women of color flying planes who have not been recognized. I love it. I have a true story to share. I remember flying from Atlanta to Tucson and it was an incredibly bumpy ride. I could not wait to get off that plane. Coming back some days later, there was an African American male pilot flying the plane. I saw him at the check in counter as we boarded and the HOLY GHOST told me he would be the pilot. I never mentioned it to my husband. The thing is, that was the smoothest flight that I had ever experienced. I know flying has a lot to do with weather patterns, but it was really a smooth flight. I’ll never forget his face and as we left the plane I thanked him for such a smooth trip. Just wanted to share!

  4. Mac Ben on said:

    So…y’all just celebrating anything these days? How about the first black female cashiers at Popeye’s or the first black female weave wearer?? Mediocrity.

    • Shanny on said:

      I will pray for you. Whether your comment was meant as a joke or sarcasm, anything and everything women do that is a first is a cause for celebration. I would like to see you say that to a woman’s face; maybe she can knock some sense into you, which hopefully will be another first!

    • Love on said:

      @Big Mac Ben you just keep posting under different names. We got you. Now congratulate these black female pilots and we will congratulate the first white female meth cookers.

  5. specialt757 on said:

    Way to go ladies! This is a major milestone for WOC. This doesn’t happen every day, they deserve our respect and more, no more hidden figures!

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