Friday, November 13, 2009

UK: Female Red Arrow

From BBC News:
Twenty years since women were first allowed to become pilots in the RAF, the Red Arrows have unveiled their first female aviator.

By their own admission, the inclusion of 31-year-old Flt Lt Kirsty Moore is an "historic" occasion for the renowned Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.

Flt Lt Moore will fly as "Red 3" for three seasons from next May.

It's the culmination of an ambition that started as a school girl watching her father as an RAF navigator.

Flt Lt Moore joined the RAF in 1998, becoming a Hawk instructor and then Tornado pilot. She is not the first woman to apply for the Red Arrows, but she was the first to be shortlisted and then selected.

Women flew in the Air Transport Auxillery in the Second World War with Jean Bird later being awarded her RAF wings.

But it was not until 1989 that women could qualify as RAF pilots - Flt Lt Julie Gibson led the way followed in 1993 by Flt Lt Jo Salter becoming the first RAF fast-jet pilot.

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