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International Society of Women Airline Pilots

Books by (or about) our members:



Co-written by Captain Lori Griffith Cline, from the movie, Sully
Lori outside the simulator used in Sully
  Ladybirds—The Untold Story of Women Pilots in America (Women in Aviation)
If you think the skies belong to birds and men, you might want to consider a different notion. Ladybirds and Ladybirds II is a history of American women in every aspect of aviation from a woman balloonist of 200 years ago, to the early days of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, to today's commercial women airline pilots (co-author Lori Griffith is a Boeing 737 captain with USAir). Those Wonderful Women and Their Flying Machines hones in on World War II to recount the story of the over 1,000 women pilots who flew in the military as part of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP). Over 25,000 women applied and 1,800 were selected to train at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. From 1942 to '44, these pilots flew over 60 million miles in every type of plane the airforce had, and 38 women lost their lives in service. Here, in biography style, the niece of one of these pilots recreates the amazing story of what she calls "one of the best-kept secrets of World War II." Together, these books record an unexplored part of American and aviation history along with the passion of women who loved to fly.
Lady bird pilots
ISA+21 members featured in the book: Cindy Mandel, Lucy Young, Nell Justice, Carole Litten,
Camela (Cammie) McHenry, Terry Rinehart, and Connie Tobias.

Julie Clark book cover


Julie Clark


Orphaned as a teen, Julie Clark forged two successful careers. With 35 years in aviation she has flown twenty-seven accident-free years as an airline pilot and twenty-four as an air show star. She became an airline pilot when women's applications were routinely thrown into the trash. Book contains 16 pages of color photos. The co-author, Ann Lewis Cooper, is also an experienced pilot. She has previously published biographies of other female aviators, including Ednat Gardner White, Jessie Woods,, Patty Wagstaff, Dot Swain Lewis, and Emily Warner. With her husband Charlie, she has written Tuskeegee's Heroes, How to Draw Aircraft Like a Pro, and War in Pacific Skies.


Karen Kahn book cover


Karen Kahn:


Newly-published 3rd edition has over 70 articles answering the tough pilot career questions without sugar-coating the answers. Kahn offers solid advice on subjects that other books dare not raise, including best routes to a pro-pilot job, what qualifications count most with employers, how old is too old, is discrimination dead, handling blemishes in your background and finally, what's the life of a pro pilot really like and is it for you?

Letting fly

At the age of 14, Deborah Wardley couldn't wait to start flying lessons. She progressed rapidly up the aviation ladder, setting her sights on flying the "big jets". When the airlines repeatedly knocked her back, she took the matter to court. This set her on a collision course with Ansett's autocratic head, Sir Reginald Ansett, and turned her into a media heroine. After a long struggle, Deborah Wardley won her battle and became Australia's first female commercial pilot. In this book, she relates her story to Elaine McKenna, author of "Better Than Dancing."

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 Norah O



Norah O'Neill:

More than a witty memoir by the first woman pilot at a macho cargo airline and her adventures flying around the world, this is the excruciatingly honest yet compelling account of one woman's ascent to 747 pilot, the price exacted for the privilege, her devastating fall from grace, and gutsy journey back into the cockpit. Flying Tigress is human drama played out against the breathtaking backdrop of the skies.

Emily Warner Howell

Emily Howell Warner


Born October 30, 1939 in Denver, Colorado, Emily Howell Warner is an American airline pilot and the first woman captain of a scheduled US airline. In 1973, Warner was the first woman pilot to be hired by a scheduled US airline since Helen Richey was hired as a co-pilot in 1934. In 1976 Warner was the first woman to become a US airline captain. Her career has been recognized by multiple halls of fame, including the National Hall of Fame and National Women's Hall of Fame. Her pilot’s uniform is on display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. In addition to piloting, Warner was a flight school manager in Denver, Colorado. She was a flight instructor and FAA designated flight examiner holding multiple ratings. She flew more than 21,000 flight hours and performed more than 3,000 check rides and evaluations over her career. She is retired. (Source: Wikipedia)

Mary Shipko


Mary Bush Shipko:


Aviatrix is the captivating story of one of the first women pilots to break into the all-male airline flight cockpit. Hired in 1976 at Hughes Airwest, Mary Bush made a herculean effort to overcome the resistance and harassment she faced in such a position, but it was to no avail.
Mary was introduced to flying at an early age. She started flying as a teenager, studying and training long hours until she painstakingly obtained her ratings one by one. Financial hardships hit the family hard, though, and Mary--desperate for both flying experience and money--headed down to the infamous Corrosion Corner in South Florida to be a "freight dog" for fly-by-night operators. However, she was frequently denied work because of her gender. She kept praying, working, and struggling, though, with the hope of one day becoming an airline pilot, a job in which she would have both steady work and steady pay.


Then, after her brother is lost at sea in one of the family airplanes, Mary is more determined than ever to become a pilot at an airline, just as her brother had planned to be. So, when she is offered the position at Hughes Airwest, Mary is thrilled. Going out west to fly jets was everything she had dreamed of and worked for. The discrimination and lewd remarks she had often faced in Florida, though, had not even come close to preparing her for the relentless harassment she would encounter as the first woman pilot at an airline.


A close-up and enthralling account of Mary's struggles as an aviation pioneer, this book will astound, appall, and inspire you.




Bonnie Tiburzi book cover



Bonnie Tiburzi,


at twenty-four, broke the sex barrier in commercial aviation by becoming the first woman pilot ever hired by a major United States airline. Takeoff! is her own candid story of how she won her wings - the high price she paid in hard work, disappointment, and personal heartache - and why she feels it was worth it. It is also a fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the real world of aviation, which few passengers ever see - inside-the-simulator and inside-the-cockpit glimpses of major airline training, apprenticeship, on-the-line operations, camaraderie with pilots and flight attendants, and very occasional nerve-shattering danger. Bonnie Tiburzi grew up in a flying family. She had flying lessons at the age of twelve and received a license at nineteen. She knew early on that what she really wanted to be was an airline pilot, but when she had earned enough flying hours to admit it out loud, the reply was always "Don't be silly. Airlines only hire men." She relates her experiences as a pigtailed charter pilot for customers like Ted Williams and the long, often frustrating struggle to open that first airline door. Once inside, the problems didn't stop: consider designing a uniform for just one, competing in training with only men and military veterans, and being mistaken for a flight attendant, a purser, a bell-hop or even bus driver. Takeoff! is a marvelously entertaining and revealing story never told before. There's food for thought here. "My being a woman in the cockpit, that bastion of masculinity, was more of a problem for the men than it was for me," writes Ms. Tiburzi. "I was used to male flyers. They weren't used to me!"


Flying Above the Glass Ceiling book cover




Flying Above the Glass Ceiling chronicles the accomplishments of pioneering women flyers and distaff members of the aviation industry from the 1800s to the present, noting their specific struggles because they entered a man's profession! Their personal stories, determination, passion, triumphs, and disappointments provide insight into what kept them moving toward their dream. This book gives hope to everyone who has the qualifications to achieve his or her career goal. 

Kathryn McCullough
Ups and Downs
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Deadstick Dawn book cover


Sharon L. Menear

The Belfast Agreement is about to be shattered by Operation Blue Blood. One young American stands in the way, airline pilot Samantha Starr. She is catapulted into a deadly chess match with police, assassins, and British Special Forces, all who want her dead. The fate of nine noble bloodlines depends on Samantha and a boy whose hero is a wizard. Stranded in Scotland where she is accused of kidnapping and murder, where can she run? When a US Navy fighter pilot and a SEAL join the hunt and every choice can get her killed and start a bloody war in Northern Ireland, on whom should she rely? The line between trust and betrayal is razor sharp, and it is cut at Deadstick Dawn.



Sharon L. Menear
An 11,000-year-old prophecy plunges airline pilot Samantha Starr into an international maelstrom. While flying to exotic locales during a round-the-world charter flight, Sam stumbles upon the enigmatic key to Poseidon’s Sword, an ancient weapon of unimaginable power. Her discovery triggers a race among secret cults, arms dealers, and world leaders intent on possessing the doomsday weapon. Old enemies and mysterious allies enter the fray, believing Sam is vital to locating and activating Poseidon’s Sword. She becomes an unwilling pawn thrust into a treacherous game trapping her crew, passengers, and family in the rivals’ deadly power plays. Sam struggles to save them and thwart her evil adversaries before time runs out in this fast-paced action thriller. Poseidon's Sword is award-winning author S.L. Menear’s second book in the Samantha Starr series.



Flight for Survival