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  • Writer's pictureEd Gaines

The First African American Female Pilot In US Navy History

Brenda E. Robinson is the first African American female pilot in US Navy history. She has been inducted into the International Pioneer Hall of Fame. The 59th woman to enter the Navy's training program, she became the 42nd to earn her wings, and the first black woman to earn Wings of Gold.

Her 35-year worldwide flying career included service as a Navy instructor in single and dual-engine aircraft. She successfully completed 155 aircraft carrier landings, served as a jet transport pilot for military and congressional VIPs out of Washington D.C., and mobilized with her DC-9 squadron to participate in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Following Navy service, Ms. Robinson continued her flying career with American Airlines as Flight Engineer on the Boeing 727. She was upgraded to First Officer (co-pilot) on the 727, and then simultaneously transitioned to the Boeing 767 (widebody) and 757. Ms. Robinson's tenure lasted 17 rewarding years. She attributes her career longevity to her love of aviation.

Celebrating Black History Month.

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