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Emily Howell Warner

First Woman Pilot for a US Airline

Captain Emily Hanrahan Howell Warner made aviation history in 1973 when she was hired by Frontier Airlines as the first woman airline pilot for a U.S. scheduled airline. Today Emily has flown more than 21,000 hours in 30 types of aircraft. She is a professional lady with an Irish smile who carries herself with poise and grace.

In 1934 Helen Ritchey had been the first documented woman pilot hired by an airline. But Emily is truly the first American woman in modern times to fly for a commercial carrier.

Emily began flying lessons in 1958 and by 1967 she started applying for a pilot position with three different airlines. By 1972 Emily Howell started applying to the airlines. She had built up an impressive 7,000 hours working at Clinton Aviation.

In the words of Captain Billy Walker of AmericaWest, formerly Frontier Airlines, “Emily would make history every time she climbed aboard an aircraft… She performed her duties very professionally. In a word, she was excellent.”

Emily is one of the founders of the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA+21). She is in demand as a speaker at various women-in-aviation conferences and events to discuss career opportunities, aviation safety and her experiences.