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Monday, November 30, 2015

Women in Aviation Int’l Names Hall of Fame Inductees

The first woman to complete U.S. Air Force undergraduate flight training and the first African-American woman to earn naval aviator wings from the U.S. Navy are among this year’s inductees into the Women in Aviation, International Pioneer Hall of Fame. Also selected for induction March 12 during the group’s annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee, is a retired Air Force four-star general whose duties included commanding the Air Force Material Command. This year’s inductees “don’t have names that most people will recognize, but each of them have led lives of great accomplishment while paving the way for other women to follow,” said WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian, a professional aviation educator and 2,000-hr commercial, instrument and multi-engine pilot and flight instructor who recently added a helicopter rating to her flight qualifications. She added, “There are no better role models” for the group’s more than 12,000 members. The first 10 female officers to graduate from the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program earned their wings Sept. 2, 1977, at Williams AFB, Arizona, after completing their training with 36 male colleagues. The women graduates were Capt. Connie Engel, Capt. Kathy La Sauce, Capt. Mary Donahue, Capt. Susan Rogers, Capt. Christine Schott, 1st Lt. Sandra Scott, 1st Lt. Victoria Crawford, 2nd Lt. Mary Livingston, 2nd Lt. Carol Scherer and 2nd Lt. Kathleen Rambo. Also in 1977, Brenda E. Robinson was one of 10 women selected by the Navy to enter boot camp followed by naval flight training. She was awarded her wings on June 6, 1980, and was the 42nd woman to do so. In addition to her Navy service, she was a pilot for 17 years at American Airlines. Janet C. Wolfenbarger retired earlier this year as an Air Force general. In addition to leading the Material Command, she held several positions on the F-22 and B-2 programs. The nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests, established the International Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or who have opened doors of opportunity for other women.

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