A passenger left a female pilot a message after a flight from Calgary to Victoria saying that “the cockpit of airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor. Not as 'captain.' We're short mothers, not pilots WestJet. Proverbs 31 (Sorry, not PC) P.S.: I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight!" The message was written on a napkin left behind on the passenger's seat, reported ABC News on March 6, 2014
The female pilot to whom the passenger’s message was directed is veteran pilot Carey Steacy who has been flying for WestJet for nine and a half years. She is also a mother of two children.
While the veteran pilot understands that passengers are used to hearing a captain’s male voice coming from the cockpit, she never expected a note like this.
"First reaction was shock," she said.
"The flight attendants were all ladies and all of us had our mouths open in shock. We really didn't know what to say, and I also had a gentleman flying with me. He felt the same way; we were all in shock," said Steacy.
After getting over the initial shock, Steacy posted the note on Facebook in the hope that it will support and inspire other women who work in a predominantly male industry.
"I haven't read one thing that's not supportive. I have to think that's very much not a common opinion among the general public. And rather than convince women not to become pilots -- hopefully it inspires people, that's my biggest hope."
Also in support of their female pilot, WestJet said in a statement that “we are enormously proud of the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots, and we find this note very disappointing."
In response to the passenger’s message for the pilot, Anna Serbinenko (who is a pilot and instructor at Canadian Flight Centre in Delta where between 10 and 25 percent of students are women) commented that this is “absolutely ridiculous. It doesn't make any sense. Women are as good or maybe even better pilots. Sometimes you get into this old boys club, and as a woman, you have to fight your way through it. And the only real way to get through that is your pilot skills. You have to be sharper, better."