Ten years ago, on February 12, 2009, Captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, First Officer Stephanie Grant and Flight Attendants Diana Galloway and Robin Rogers landed in our nation’s history books as the first all-female, African-American crew to operate a commercial revenue flight – and it only happened by chance.

Rachelle, Robin and Diana had been flying with a first officer who left the trip early due to illness, and Stephanie was called to fill in.

“I could not believe it at the time,” said Stephanie, describing how she felt as she entered the aircraft and saw her fellow crew members. “We knew that this moment was special, but did not realize the full significance until weeks later when pictures from the flight began circulating on the internet.”

Together with the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP), the crew confirmed that they were, indeed, the first all-female, African-American flight crew.

The four flew just one round-trip together, from Atlanta to Nashville, Tennessee, and back, but it was enough to permanently mark their place in history.

Today, Stephanie and Robin are based in ORD, Rachelle is a first officer for Delta Air Lines, and Diana has retired from the industry. Stephanie also now uses her experience to encourage other minority women to enter aviation through work with Sisters of the Skies, a non-profit mentorship organization. Although no longer coworkers, the four still stay in touch thanks to the chance bond they formed ten years ago.

“I am proud of our place in history and even more proud to share it with some of the greatest women that I know,” said Stephanie.

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Our Pilot Recruiting team attended the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) Winter Warm-Up conference held over the weekend in Palm Springs, California. The annual event, presented by United Airlines, brings together thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender aviation professionals and enthusiasts – as well as allies – from around the world.

“It was great to return to NGPA this year with the ExpressJet growth story to share,” said Pilot Recruiter Venus Ramos. “We connected with people in all stages of their aviation careers and even had the opportunity to catch up with one of our Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) students. We’re already looking forward to the next NGPA event!” ngpa

Ready to fly? We’re hosting three First Officer hiring fairs that can have you in a February or March class!

Houston, Texas
Saturday, February 9
ExpressJet Training Center

Newark, New Jersey
Wednesday, February 13
Hilton Newark Airport

Chicago, Illinois
Monday, February 18
Sheraton Suites O’Hare

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today! As always, if you cannot make the hiring fair, we are happy to set up an interview time that works best for you – either in-person or video chat. Just drop us a message and we’ll make it happen.

To sign up for one of these events:

First, be sure you meet our eligibility requirements and that you have an application on file, either through Airline Apps or our website.

Then, register by following the links above.  We’ll be in touch to confirm details and verify hiring eligibility.

Florida, here we come! We’re flying an Embraer E145 to you, on a three-day, five-stop tour of some of your top aviation schools. It’s going to be a total AvGeek experience! We’ll also fill you in on our 2019 growth plans, including our 25 new Embraer E175s and plan to hire more than 600 pilots!

Here is where we’ll be:

Monday, January 21

  • L3 Airline Academy (Million Air): 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Embry-Riddle Daytona (Yelvington): 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 22

  • Polk State (Warbird Ramp): 9 – 11 a.m.
  • FlightSafety International & Paris Air (Sun Aviation): 3 – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, January 23

  • Pan Am Flight Academy (Pan Am Ramp): 9 – 11 a.m.

We invite students of these schools to join us for aircraft visits. The aircraft parking location for each stop is noted in parenthesis. Hope to see you there!

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ExpressJet’s E175 launch is getting real! Earlier this week, Lead Line Check Pilot – ORD Paul Weston and Captain and Manager of Ground Training Eric Carlson became ExpressJet’s first E175 type-rated pilots.

Paul and Eric are among the 20 initial cadre check pilots who will receive their type ratings and then conduct training for ExpressJet pilots awarded the E175.

“This is a proud moment for those of us in the initial cadre and for the entire company,” said Paul. “It means we’re another step closer to the E175 being part of the ExpressJet family.”

So, what can ExpressJet pilots expect when they get behind the controls of the E175?

“So far, we’ve found the E175 to be very pilot friendly, highly automated and equipped with all the bells and whistles that make it a good fit with our company’s safety culture.”

With a new type rating on their certificates, Paul and Eric will now return to developing the policies and procedures to support our new fleet.

“The type rating was the easy part,” joked Eric, comparing it to the volume of work that goes into launching a new fleet type. “It’s all worth it, though, for the excitement of a new aircraft.”

ExpressJet’s first E175 arrives in April. We will hire more than 600 pilots in 2019 to support the growth of our fleet and to account for pilots progressing through the United Career Path Program. It’s takeoff time!

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