16/6/1984: Frontier’s First All-Female Flight

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DALLAS – Today in Aviation, Captain Emily Warner and First Officer Barbara Cook operated Frontier Airlines (FL) first all-female flight in 1984.

Operated by a Boeing 737, flight FL244 departed Denver Stapleton (DEN) bound for Lexington, Kentucky (LEX). 

According to the airline, the historic all-female pairing was not specifically rostered: “That’s just the way the rotation came up.”

Emily Howell Warner on the steps of a Frontier Boeing 737. Photo: Frontier Airlines.

Breaking Boundaries

Warner had made history eleven years earlier when she became the first woman to be hired by a major airline. After her first flight as a Second Officer, she received a bouquet of flowers from the world’s first female airline Captain, Turi Widerøe of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). She was promoted to Captain with FL in 1976. 

Warner said of the flight: “I feel good about it. I figured I’d be flying with a gal one of these days.”

Captain Emily Warner and First Officer Barbara Cook are pictured on the flight deck of the historic flight. Photo: Frontier Airlines.

Girl Power

However, Warner and Cook weren’t the first all-female flight crew to operate a commercial flight. On December 30, 1977, Captain Emilie Jones and First Officer Lynn Ripplemeyer operated six-scheduled flights for Air Illionois (UX) on board a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter. 

In September 1983, Ripplemeyer, now a Captain for People Express (PE), teamed up with First Officer Beverly Himelfarb. The pair commanded a Boeing 737 from New York (EWR) to Syracuse (SYR). Captain Ripplemeyer would later become the first woman to command a Boeing 747 on a transoceanic flight in 1984. 

Finally, on July 10, 1982, Captain Cheryl Faye Peters and First Officer Rebecca Rose Schroeder commanded a Boeing 737 for Piedmont Airlines (PI). 

Featured Image: Frontier Airlines Boeing 737-200 (N7341F). Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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