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First black all-female aircrew honoured for historic flight

BLACK GIRL MAGIC: (From left) Flight attendant Diana Galloway, captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, flight attendants Robin Rogers and first officer Stephanie Grant

THE FIRST black all-female aircrew was honoured at a luncheon last week in recognition of their historic flight seven years.

The First in Flight luncheon, hosted by the Metro Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), was to not only honour the women but also Black History Month - which is celebrated in February in the US.

On February 12, 2009, captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, first officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway flew and attended Atlantic Southeast Airlines’ Flight 5202 from Atlanta to Nashville and returned to Atlanta on Flight 5106.

The historic flight was not planned, and actually came together at the last minute. The original first officer became sick, so Grant stepped in.

She told News 2 what it was like to step in the cockpit and see Captain Kerr.

“The fact that it was Rachelle, an African-American female, and we just met in passing a couple weeks prior… It was amazing,” Grant said.

Kerr said, “We just looked at each other and grinned, because I think in that moment we knew.”

After the flight, it was confirmed they were indeed the first black all-female flight crew, and to their knowledge, the only crew since.

“Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight No 5202 was a historic milestone in the world of aviation, and we’re proud and honoured that Nashville International Airport played a part in this landmark event,” said Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO.

“As part of the Airport Authority’s celebration of Black History Month, we were honoured to host the flight crew who made history right here in our city.”

The luncheon and panel discussion was held at Cal Turner Family Centre on the campus of Meharry Medical College on Thursday (Feb 11).

“We’re here to prove, if you want to be a pilot, a flight attendant, you can do it. Just dream big,” Kerr said.

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