• All-female Delta crew flies 120 girls to NASA to promote gender equality

    By: Nancy Clanton, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - As the International Space Station announced plans for its first all-female spacewalk, an all-female Delta flight crew and 120 girls were headed to NASA.

    Delta Air Lines celebrated International Girls in Aviation Day with its fifth annual WING Flight — Women Inspiring our Next Generation. The girls, ages 12-18, were flown from Salt Lake City to NASA in Houston "as we work to close the gender gap in aviation," Delta said in a press release.

    "From nose to tail, the flight was planned and orchestrated exclusively by women — including the pilots flying the plane, ramp agents working on the ground, gate agents boarding the flight and women in the tower guiding the aircraft on its way out," Delta said.

    "We know representation matters," said Beth Poole, general manager, pilot development, who helped start Delta's WING Flights in 2015 and has helped plan them ever since. "We're taking ownership to improve gender diversity by exposing girls at a young age and providing a pipeline so that 10 years from now, they will be the pilots in the Delta cockpit inspiring generations of women who follow."

    In Houston, the girls toured NASA's Mission Control Center, Building 9, Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston. 

    "It didn't seem realistic to go after a career in aviation, but today I realized, 'Hey, I can do this, too,'" said Katelyn J., a 12th grader on the flight.

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