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Greatest Women in Aviation

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Aspiring pilots and industry representatives met in Chicago yesterday for a Pilot Career Conference and Job Fair. According to organizer the vast majority of attendees were men. Women make up only about 6 percent of active pilots in the United States. So being a pilot—and a woman—is pretty remarkable. Perhaps even more remarkable is being an African-American woman and a pilot. Now rewind about 100 years, and you might think a black woman would have exactly zero chances of flying a plane, let alone riding in one. But Bessie Coleman did just that—thanks in part to her decision to move to Chicago.

Liz Moscrop and Sanjay Rampal wrote about Bessie—and 99 other female pilots—for their new book, The 100 Greatest Women in Aviation. Moscrop recently stopped by to tell us a little bit about some of the Chicago faces featured in the collection of short biographies. She says the story of Bessie Coleman is especially inspiring.

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