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4% of Pilots are Women, and other fun facts shared by a modern “Lady Pilot”
by Katy Rank Lev

Hello from the Flight Deck: An Interview with First Officer Stacy Chapman

Stacy Chapman has been flying planes since 2002.

KRL: Are there many women working as pilots?

SC: In my unit fr the Air National Guard, there are 4 female pilots out of about 40 or 50 pilots total.

KRL: It looks like only about 4% of pilots are women.

SC:  You’d be shocked by how many people are shocked to see me in my uniform in the airport.

KRL: Tell us what made you become a pilot.

SC: It just happened. In college I wanted to do something different and be part of something bigger, but I didn’t know what that meant. I was in Air Force ROTC and another cadet had wanted to be a pilot her entire life…but she failed the sitting height test. You have to meet certain height requirements both standing and sitting. Anyway, after that she really insisted that I go and take the test. I thought, why not? I passed all the physical requirements and got a pilot slot by my senior year.

KRL: What’s your day like at work?

SC: I wake up really early–2am–and I check over the plane and go fly anywhere from 2 to 5 legs per day. I work 3 days in a row and then am home for 4 days. We bid on our schedule a month in advance and it goes by seniority. I have pretty high seniority now, so there’s a lot of flexibility for me.

KRL: What’s it like up there in the cockpit?

SC: Ugh! The dryness–it’s from the altitude as much as anything else. I get bloody noses a lot. I always have tissues and lotion. The sun is also an issue for me. I always forget sunblock.

KRL: You’re a redhead and you forget sunblock?

SC: I always forget that my arms are exposed. We can’t pull the sun shades down up there!

KRL: At least it doesn’t smell like farts.

SC: I actually didn’t know it smelled like farts in the cabin. My husband told me that! There are only 2 of us up in the cockpit, and we just met that morning. We’re about to spend 3 days together. He’s not going to fart.

KRL: So you and your husband connect by talking about farts

SC: We text a lot. I can’t always talk in between flights. We have to work to actually get to talk on the phone. I learned it’s important to actually talk, even though he’s at work and I want to be asleep.

You don’t think 3 days is a long time to go without talking, but when it’s every week, you really lose your connection with each other.

I arranged my schedule so that he and I are (for the most part) sleeping and working at the same time. When we had flipped schedules we would go days without talking. It was bad. When I am home, we are very deliberate about spending time together. We run errands together, go to shows. We love to go to dinner theater. When I get back, we make it a point to spend that entire first day together.

KRL: And you’re about to be deployed…

SC: It’s hard. When I’m gone for a long time, we will video chat every few days. Time zones are obviously an issue, but we make it a priority to just tell each other about our day.

KRL: Which includes farts.

SC: In the military, it’s hilarious to fart.

KRL: Any advice for other women whose job takes them away from home each week?

SC: I’m still figuring things out. Talk to people, other women especially. Ask questions from people who have been doing it a long time–I didn’t do that in the beginning. My job is demanding and difficult, but it’s an exciting and very rewarding career.

It’s worth all the effort.

  1. One question, in Roblox do you talk using speech bubbles? If you do, then how? Do you type whatever you want or is there options? Oh, and play Poptropica, made by Jeff Kinney. Jeff Kinney also made Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Poptropica is a lot like Roblox.

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