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Gender and Racial Barriers in Flight Training

In: Historical Events

Submitted By Martie
Words 2213
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Gender and Racial Barriers in Flight Training Student’s Name Institution of Learning
The ethics in aviation has become a very popular topic during the last several years. We cannot say that it was not discussed at all before that, but probably now people are more able to formally define what is “wrong” and “right” in the actions done by the pilots. However, we should not limit the word “ethics” to doing the right thing only. Ethics stands also about promoting the proper piloting philosophy to people around us, for example to other pilots. Ethical dilemmas always appear in the aviation. Sometimes people have to solve them directly during the flight, but sometimes people may be indirectly concerned even while observing ethical misbehavior from the distance. It was said by Hansen and Oster that the attendance of white men in crucial aviation professions is the heritage of both obvious discrimination in hire and the internal culture that from the start gave the strong emphasis on the masculine nature of the aviation itself (James E. Sulton, 2008). If we take the history of aviation, we will see that everything began with Orville and Wilbur in the year 1910 when they were in the flying school in Montgomery. Those brothers developed the touring company and they needed pilots to conduct flying exhibitions and lessons what might advertise sales. It is obvious that at that time there were lees then ten qualified to the full extend pilots in the whole world and most of them were white men (Hoppe, 2011). The first detect of diversity was the appearing of women in the aviation. Although all women lived through huge challenges, women of color were denied adoption into flight-training programs altogether and knocked off the opportunities to fly. Finally, it happened in 1910 when Baroness Raymonde de la Roche became the first women-pilot. She was training in France and gained the pilot license. After that in 1921 Bessie Coleman travelled to Paris, she was searching for flying training and after became the first African-American pilot who earned international license. She was the first among man and women. When she returned to US she hoped to open first African-American flight school and by that earn her living, however the racial obstacles here too high. She was very beautiful, her style, manner and grace helped her to become well known (James E. Sulton, 2008). Moreover, she was a success not only ruining gender barriers, but also racial ones. It happened when she refused to perform until both black and white spectator were able to see the show. The first US female captain for the major commercial airline appeared in 1986. It happened after American Airlines gave captains stripes to Beverly Bass (Hoppe, 2011). We should also mention about marriage, which was an important advantage for women-pilots. Prominent female pilots Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, Jacqline Cocharn, and Phoebe Omelie were in the marriage. Even if we take the statistics, it will show that one of five women who were pilots had been married to men-pilots. And it helped to show that despite the fact that women is a pilot, she can easily perform both functions, being the professional pilot and perfect home wife simultaneously. However, if we take pregnancy, we will see that before 1995, the naval female pilots, who became pregnant, would be just expelled from USA Academy, unless the child was not aborted in a month. Nevertheless, this was eventually changed and finally the women were allowed a one-year vacation from Academy, but they would have to reapply for admission. Sure, it might become a costly thing for the female pilot, because the female aviator will have to spend extra time and money on flying reviews before the regular flying operation can take place (Mutisya, 2010). Early women-pilots developed and adjusted the additional coping mechanisms. They used to write novels and short stories about flying itself and depicted the freedom and parity the skies can provide. Through the writings, female-aviators also disapproved the common criticism that believed that female flying is something totally unwomanly. Women wanted to emphasize their capability to come successfully into the man’s aviation world, but in the process of that not to lose their femininity nature (Lebow, 2002). Despite the stereotypical perception of female aviators who were discriminated, it helped them to receive even more flying experience while they publicized airplanes (Corn, 1979). There was also founded an all-women pilot’s group, called ‘The Ninety-Nines’. Their leader was Amelia Earhart. This group also assisted to protest the diverse forms of discrimination, which women experienced in their working environment. For example, the Air Commerce Department did not to work with female pilots during the periods of menstruation because women were believed to be sick and less efficient during this period. Women pilots groups offered a solution to such regulations at the same time encouraging others to remain committed to their affection for flying (Mutisya, 2010). Charles Anderson who was born in Pennsylvania had become one of the most prominent and important figures in the “black” aviation history. He was totally in love with flying since young years and he really wanted to attend flying lessons, but, as the matter of fact, there were no schools that would take a Negro student. That is why he actually took private flying lessons and in the year 1929 he had a solo flight during which he receive his private license. Later he received commercial and air-transport pilot’s license. He was the first Negro, who received such license. He really tried to promote the idea of flight that is why he made several long-distance flights around the country and he made a transcontinental flight, he was also the first Negro pilot to conduct first international flight, which started in Atlantic City and finished in Montreal. We should also take into consideration the most important flight-training program, which began in 1940. It was in Tuskegee institute, where the Anderson decided to head. A very interesting situation happened in April 1941 when the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt visited that institute, she was really amused by the arrays of planes and she was wondering if African Americans are able to fly these machines. It is obvious that the answer was affirmative and after Anderson invited the First Lady to have a ride with him in a Piper Cub. Everyone was terrified by such a decision, but the flight passed with excellence and after the First Lady returned to Washington DC, it was decided to form the first in the whole history Negro Air Corps at Tuskegee. However, one of the biggest boosts to the aviation hopes of African Americans appeared during the times of World War II. During that period, a lot was done to consolidate the competency of African American pilots. At those times, the all-black men 99th Pursuit Squadron (Tuskegee Airmen) did one of the most outstanding records among any US Air Force. One of the most prominent figures was Benjamin O. Davis who was the first black army Air Corps officer; he won his pilot’s wings in March 1942. They did their outstanding record in just four months, which allowed Benjamin to become a colonel. Tuskegee Airmen had such pilots as Davis and Daniel James who try to prove to the world that black pilots are as good as white ones, if not even better and they succeeded in this. However, the racial problems did not disappear when the war finished. The USA was still racially divided and not ready to allow black pilots to fly white passengers, especially on commercial airlines. That is why the African American pilots were literary to say forced to find and take odd jobs. For example, if we take August H. Martin, during the World Was II he was training pilots and after that was he could make his living taking low-prestige and non-scheduled airlines. Only on February during 1957 Perry H. Young appeared to be the first black American pilot who was allowed to carry people on commercial flights. Nevertheless, despite of all above mentioned, aviation is still mostly for men and white (Hoppe, 2011). Racial preconception and discrimination, which leads to excluding women and minorities from educational opportunities shows the unfair treatment. That means that these two categories will have less career opportunities and later they will not get professional advance. Anyway, even when the African American men or women gets the place in aviation, they are usually in a bit unwelcoming environment of white people, usually men, which makes the life of African American women even more complicated. It means that the behavior, the attitude, the manners, sometimes the language and even the actions might show the discrimination. In addition, that can make people just leave the sphere without accomplishing their goals and showing all of their ambitions (Hoppe, 2011). Even in our modern society, when people are doing everything to make it look like egalitarian age, women are still suffering from discrimination and can bump into challenges. A lot was done, but still, there are many questions left, for example, one of those might be about the influence of women on aviation and their achievements and whether they had any impact on aviation industry. Moreover, as the continuation of the topic might be the question about the reason of slow development of female pilot’s number. Nowadays the flight training for aviation skills is provided by flight schools, which are located at airports (Fixed Based Operators), or it can be the institution of higher education and high schools. It is widely regarded that institutions of aviation education should be most susceptible to the needs of omen and minorities, to do everything for those to gain success and to compensate for the previous generations of pilots. The institutions understand that for women and minorities to be a success all of the barriers that are confronting them should be eliminated. The lack of influence to aviation careers and the dearth of role models within the industry are the main concerns. For us to compare the figures of 2008 show that of the 93,202 instructor pilots in US 6,7 percent meaning 6,293 person were women, in addition, if we take Airline Transport rated pilot, we will see that 3,9 percent of all were women, that is 5,657 person from 146,838 people in general. Owning to that there was few role models to imbue women and minorities follow an advanced flight rating which also increases insufficiency of underrepresented aviation groups (Hoppe, 2011). The number of women-pilots in the United States of America has gradually grown over the past forty years. Female pilots have already gained access to various jobs and received enter to all spheres, meaning military, general, and commercial, which helped to begin expansion. Air force female pilots expanded from 2% in the year 1972 to 16% in 1995. The number of airline pilots also increased from 0.027% in 1975 to 6% in 2005. However if we take the overall figures of growth of women pilots worldwide was essentially lower than of all percentage of women pilots in the USA. Despite that, the rates of women’s success and interests remain sufficiently lower than male (Mutisya, 2010). However, if we take developing countries, we will see that most women pilots are involves only in general aviation and they come from civilian backgrounds. Female aviators have played a crucial role in the development and success of the aviation industry over the past century. In current’s industrialized societies, it is important that continued support towards women pilot occur. That is why, consistent mentorship and various motivational programs can create a much better adaptation processes for female-pilots. It is important to deal with the various training in the aviation industry; this training has done at least little to provoke the change. However, more research is needed to research the effective diversity training techniques for all pilots involved in the aviation industry to guarantee that African-American women are treated with equity. These training efforts should concentrate on deep and instant change rather than on cosmetic attempts that merely recognize the problem. The aviation industry and flight-training institutions should take a closer look on the gender and racial barriers in the aviation, as we are living in a egalitarian age. We should think about equality and that will help the changes to be realized. In addition, such changed are needed, because only equality in the industry might help the country to remain humanistic and a strong opponent in the realm of worldwide aviation.
References
Corn, J. J. (1979). Making flying “thinkable”: Women pilots and the selling of aviation, 1927-1940. Maryland: John Hopkins UP.
Hoppe E. (2011). Ethical issues in aviation. Ashgate publishing limited .
Lebow, E. F. (2002). Before Amelia: Women pilots in the early days of aviation. Virginia: Brassey’s Inc.
Mutisya M. ( 2010) Women in the Aviation Industry (A Senior Thesis). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu.
James E. Sulton (2008) African-American Women Pilots' Perceptions of Barriers to Success in Flight-training and Strategies to Enhance Their Presence (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://gradworks.umi.com/3311325.pdf…...

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