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Beverly Lynn Burns, first woman in the world to captain the Boeing 747 airliner In recognition of the aviators' qualifications and responsibilities, most militaries and many airlines around the world award aviator badges to their pilots as well as other air crews.
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From 19711978 Beverly Lynn Burns worked as a stewardess for AA.
She went on to become the first woman Boeing 747 airline captain when, on the afternoon of July 18, 1984, she commanded People Express flight #17 (aircraft 604) departing Newark International Airport at 3:30pm to Los Angeles International Airport.
BWI AIRPORT, MD (June 10, 2002) - Recognizing the accomplishments of a true aviation pioneer, the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) unveiled a new exhibit today to showcase the flying career of Owings Mills resident Beverly Burns at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI).Maryland's Deputy Secretary of Transportation Beverley Swaim-Staley and the MAA's Executive Director Paul Wiedefield joined Ms. Burns for the unveiling ceremony of the latest addition to BWI's timeline of the history of aviation in Maryland, a unique collage that adorns the 60-foot tall interior wall along the corridor between the domestic and international piers."Captain Burns is a shining example of what can be accomplished by women with determination and talent," Ms. Swaim-Staley said.A former flight attendant, Captain Burns never gave up on her dream to fly.She became the first woman to fly the Boeing 747 from coast to coast, and she received the acclaimed "Amelia Earhart Award" for her conquest.On May 23, 2001, Captain Burns made aviation history once again by becoming the first female pilot to captain the new Boeing 777 for Continental Airlines, flying from Houston to London.She has served as Captain on some of the largest and most sophisticated aircraft in the U.S. commercial fleet.Her flight resume includes Captain's status on the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, and the DC-9 and DC-10.Captain Burns is currently a pilot for Continental Airlines.Her pilot training began at Hinson Airways' flight school at BWI Airport.Captain Burns encountered numerous obstacles along the way based on her gender.There were charter airlines that were afraid to hire a woman, male co-pilots who were reluctant to work with her and occasionally passengers who were skeptical of flying with a woman in the cockpit.Because of her persistence, she has been honored by presidents, senators and mayors.An exhibit that includes color photographs of Captain Burns and notes about her achievements has been mounted on BWI's Maryland aviation timeline collage, under the wing of an image of the historic China Clipper.
Beverly Lynn Burns
Beverly Lynn Burns Captain Beverly Lynn Burns is the first woman to captain the Boeing 747 jumbo jet. On the afternoon of July 18, 1984, Burns made her maiden voyage as Captain when she commanded People Express aircraft 604 from Newark International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. By the time she retired, in February 2008, she had been a captain with the airlines for twenty-seven years and amassed over twenty-five thousand hours of flight time. While with People Express she captained the Boeing 727, Boeing 737 and Boeing 747. Between the time the company merged with Continental Airlines in 1987 and the onset of the 2000 millennium, she added the DC-9, DC-10, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 to the list of jetliners she had captained. Then, in May 2001, Burns became captain on one of the most technologically sophisticated airliners of its time, the Boeing 777. In addition to her qualifications on the flight deck, Burns had acquired an understanding of the airlines as a business. From 1971 to 1978, she worked as stewardess for American Airlines while attending flight school. In 1978, she held positions as a flight instructor and charter pilot for Hinson Airways. The following year, she flew as captain for Allegheny Commuter until 1981, when she went to work for People Express.
Beverly Burns, of Owings Mills, was the first female commercial pilot to fly a Boeing 747.Beverly Burns made history when she took off from Newark Liberty International Airporton July 18, 1984, for Los Angeles.That day, flying for People Express, the Owings Mills resident became the first woman to pilot a Boeing 747 jumbo jet for a commercial airline.Burns had entered the aviation world in the 1970s, when the skies had been a man's realm since the dawn of flying.Burns, now 58, said as a child, she was raised with the expectation to marry a man who would be the primary breadwinner, she said.But Burns liked airplanes, so she became a flight attendant for American Airlines.A male pilot told her, "Women are too small, too weak and not intelligent enough" to fly a plane.He invited Burns to prove him wrong, she said.Burns took him up on the dare, but faced further challenges when she started pilot school.At Hinson Airways, a flight school at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Burns was passed on from one instructor to another, going through eight instructors.Beverly Burns said she was surprised and relieved because he was the first instructor to take her seriously.Capt. Beverly Burns graduated from that flight instruction and became a commercial pilot.She moved beyond the 747 to the 777 when flying for Continental Airlines, and made her final commercial flight in February over the North Pole from Beijing to Newark.Her husband is one of the primary reasons she's retiring, she said."My husband has spent the last 35 years supporting me in my career," Beverly Burns said.