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NEWS: First Female Pilot Joins Famed USAF Thunderbirds

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posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Just weeks after a fierce debate in the House of Representatives over legislature to limit the roles of women in the military a victory was handed to supporters of increased opportunities for female soldiers. Air Force officials announced today that the famed U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team will include a female pilot for the first time. The Thunderbirds based at Nellis A.F.B., NV. announcing the make up of their 2006 team were proud to introduce Capt. Nicole Malachowski, of the 494th Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England as the first ever female pilot in this highly respected group.
 



www.defendamerica.mil
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev., June 17, 2005 — U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, “Thunderbirds,” officials announced their new pilots for the 2006 demonstration season which includes the first female demonstration pilot in the 52-year history of the Thunderbirds.

Capt. Nicole Malachowski, of the 494th Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, joins the team as the first female demonstration pilot on any U.S. military high performance jet team.

Lt. Col. Kevin Robbins, from the Air Force Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Capt. Ed Casey, of the 56th Training Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz., also were selected for two of the demonstration pilot spots.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The addition of the female pilot is a major boost for women in the military. It wasn't that long ago when the idea of putting women in such challenging positions was unheard of, consider the comments of Newt Gingrich in the 1990's about women being unable to handle the difficulties of military duty. Recent news has done much to hurt the image of the female soldier, Lindsey England and the Abu Gharab story, and Jessica Lynch as a P.O.W. have sparked new debates about women in the warfighter profession. It is nice to see an encouraging story about a woman dedicated to her country and showing the potential women truly posses.

Related News Links:
www.cnn.com
www.krnv.com
www.reviewjournal.com
www.airforce.com




posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:57 PM
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Woooohooo! An excellent step forward from the dark ages of the "good old boy" school of fighter piloting. It is nice to see a hometowner from Luke AFB representing pilot excellence also. I look forward to the air show season and what the new additions will bring.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 03:20 PM
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Alot of people are going to be watching her very closely. It is and has been a male dominated profession for a long time. There are some great female demonstration pilots like Patty Wagstaff but none in the military and flying such complex aircraft and maneuvers. I'm sure this pilot is under alot of added presure for those reasons. I hope she shows everyone just how great a woman can fly.



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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Every team needs someone to make the sandwiches and drinks and iron the shirts



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 03:46 PM
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You are gonna get a flaming for that one m8



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 07:32 PM
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So a guy walks up to her in the bar and asks her, "What's your callsign?"

Bravo Zulu for a Sierra Hotel Capt. Malachowski



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 07:59 AM
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Being an Air Force Vet., I find that female pilots are virtually no different in the cockpit vs. males. If they can meet the very strict standards that are set forth by the Thunderbirds Club, let them fly and serve in the same capacity as their male counterparts......


CTO

posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:06 AM
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I was a FAIP ( First Assignment Instructor Pilot ) during my early years of military aviation. I flew with many female students and found many of them to be excellent pilots. In fact, a higher percentage of women pilots did a great job as opposed to the males. I attributed that to the women's desire to excel in a male dominated arena...



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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CTO, you're also overlooking the fact that it's been scientifically proven that women can stand more G-Forces then men can, something to do with their childbear physiology I believe. They also have far superious multitasking capabilities which is I believe essential in such a career.

[edit on 20-6-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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Well it's good to see a woman making the team, but how come she's from the British Royal Airforce? Is it normal to make selections from other countries? Or is this bending the rules for PR?


CTO

posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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In reality, I don't think I overlooked anything... I flew with a woman in flight test and she was a heck of a pilot...

The ability to sustain G loads isn't as big a deal as you might think... Most, the vast majority in fact, of military flying is done at 1 G... With the tremendous standoff capability of our current and future aircraft the need for dogfighting has lessened to the point of being nearly non-existant...

Computers control the amount of G available to you in the F-16 to 9 and I believe the same goes for the F-22... Nine Gs is a bunch but not intolerable and is normally only sustained for a short period of time...

Anyone qualified in a TARF type (Trainer, Attack, Reconnaissance, Fighter) is pretty darn good a multi-tasking...

Women make good pilots, no doubt, but are they superior to male pilots? Probably not... but they certainly are our equals!!


CTO

posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
Well it's good to see a woman making the team, but how come she's from the British Royal Airforce? Is it normal to make selections from other countries? Or is this bending the rules for PR?



The 494th is stationed at Lakenheath... It's part of the USAF and she's a USAF pilot...

afhra.maxwell.af.mil...



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 09:06 AM
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OK, thanks. The "Royal Airforce" referrence threw me off. Thought maybe King George had his own airforce now.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 03:04 PM
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Yay, another step to allow women closer to the seething hell-hole which is known as modern combat.

I do hope she's signed the waivers absolving the military of all responsibility for birth defects if she decides to have children later. The cockpit of a modern fighter is a storm of radiation, microwave, shortwave, infrared, ionized...all sorts of yummy stuff that will do quite a number on her ova supply. As long as she's okay with that and we're not gonna see a big anti-military campaign from her in a few years as consequences for her career choice, then no problems here.

One thing to note will be how different biologies react to G's. Organs in slightly different positioning, bone structure differences. Standard G suit functions of compressing to keep blood out of the lower extremities and lower body might need to be modified, or may not be necessary. Pilot's chair angle might require some adjustment for optimum distribution, especially when trying to eke out every last bit of her potential.

And the real big problem-when the mechanics call the bird "she"....well, don't ask, don't tell, right?



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 03:23 PM
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I suppose this is good...really don't matter to me.


For all those who do not support females as combat pilots,
There is a difference between Air Combat and Ground Combat....
I don't see a problem with females filling Air combat roles, however there is a huge problem with females filling ground combat roles.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 04:19 PM
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For anyone that truly believes that some roles are better suited to one sex or another, I guess the best way to prove your argument is to take all restrictions off of women in the military and see how they compare. Do they measure up?

I think in the modern combat role anyone with strength, stamina, intellegence and courage is a real asset, regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation. To tell a patriot she can't defend her country because she has the wrong sex organs is not only rude but unprovable as well.

I am a man, but I'm comfortable enough with it to believe a woman can be an equal as well.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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To tell a patriot she can't defend her country because she has the wrong sex organs is not only rude but unprovable as well.

Yeah, that has to be a real downer for the females who serve. But still, MOST females are not upto par as the males when it comes to the physical and psycological aspects. There are very few females who can do all of the things that males do in the military (Army and Marines). That's why the military has double standards on thier physical fitness test......because the females cannot pass the same as the males do.

I have met females who can out do most guys anyday...and maybe they should be an exception. But overall females just cannot do the same as the mails can. There's alot more behind it than just physical stuff. Agression, stamina, mindset all factor into the psycological aspects....it goes deeper than just muscle strenght.



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 04:53 PM
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IN todays society there isn't a reason a women cannot do what a guy can do. There are some social and moral reasons why. But those are really to complex to cover and is really only apparent in large scales


CTO

posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 06:06 PM
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Originally posted by Phugedaboudet

One thing to note will be how different biologies react to G's. Organs in slightly different positioning, bone structure differences. Standard G suit functions of compressing to keep blood out of the lower extremities and lower body might need to be modified, or may not be necessary. Pilot's chair angle might require some adjustment for optimum distribution, especially when trying to eke out every last bit of her potential.

And the real big problem-when the mechanics call the bird "she"....well, don't ask, don't tell, right?



The G suit, or 'go-fast pants' as we used to call them primarily acts on the legs to force blood to stay in the upper portion of the body, thus assisting in preventing G-loc... If I remember correctly, Combat Edge was designed to accommodate the 95 percentile of men and 80 percentile of women... The addition of an 'extra small, extra short' size increased that percentile considerably...

In the twenty years that I flew with women in military aviation I never heard reports of women having difficulties attributable to the cockpit environment...

The female pilots I dealt with were professional, well trained and totally up to the task...

By the way... all of the women pilots that I know refer to the bird as 'she'... It may not be politically correct but what place does political correctness have in a cockpit anyway???



posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by Phugedaboudet
Yay, another step to allow women closer to the seething hell-hole which is known as modern combat.

I do hope she's signed the waivers absolving the military of all responsibility for birth defects if she decides to have children later. The cockpit of a modern fighter is a storm of radiation, microwave, shortwave, infrared, ionized...all sorts of yummy stuff that will do quite a number on her ova supply. As long as she's okay with that and we're not gonna see a big anti-military campaign from her in a few years as consequences for her career choice, then no problems here.

One thing to note will be how different biologies react to G's. Organs in slightly different positioning, bone structure differences. Standard G suit functions of compressing to keep blood out of the lower extremities and lower body might need to be modified, or may not be necessary. Pilot's chair angle might require some adjustment for optimum distribution, especially when trying to eke out every last bit of her potential.

And the real big problem-when the mechanics call the bird "she"....well, don't ask, don't tell, right?


It's not the cockpit that's filled with radiation it's the whole plane. You get more radiation from a 5 hour flight than you do from 5 or 6 chest x-rays. I know someone that took a flight with a rad meter, and left it on during the trip and got a rather surprising number when he landed. It's a lot more than people realize. I work on x-rays, and you really don't realize how much radiation you are exposed to just by everyday normal events...

As for Capt Malachowski a big Sierra Hotel and congratulations.




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