Thursday, November 22, 2012

Flying into history: first female pilot assigned to the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds

The headline writer of the article below gets it wrong. Nicole Malachowski, several years ago, was the first woman Thunderbirds pilot. I think this woman is the first woman Reservist to become a pilot, as the body of the article says.

From  Flying into history: first female pilot assigned to the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds.

MIAMI (WTVJ/NBC) - Shattering the glass ceiling is one thing.
Breaking the sound barrier is another.
Maj. Caroline Jensen has done both, becoming the first female reservist demonstration pilot in U.S. Air Force Thunderbird history.
"I joined the Reserves not knowing that I would ever be able to be a Thunderbird one day, but the opportunity presented itself to me about a year and a half ago and I'm really proud to be here," she said.
Jensen is what they call "Thunderbird 3."
She serves as the team's right wing pilot, flying just a few inches from the flight leader in the diamond and delta formations.
She has flown for the last 17 years, piloting everything from the T-37 and T-38 to the F-16.
"I was flying as a T-38 instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in a reserve unit there when I got picked up to come to the Thunderbirds," Jensen said.
Jensen says still gets that sense of excitement before taking flight
Jensen said that as a young girl growing up in Wisconsin, the Thunderbirds motivated her to become an Air Force officer - and since she's reached her goal, she's honored to inspire the next generation of Air Force airmen.
"Whatever your dream is in life, go for it. Just pick something,surround yourself with people who can help you achieve that dream, and go for it."


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