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WestJet Passenger Note Claims “The Cockpit Of An Airliner Is No Place For A Woman”

Having conversations with kids about what they want to be when they grow up is one of the best exercises in creativity ever. This weekend Charlie declared he wanted to be a cowboy scuba diver when he grows up and went on to detail how he would have both a diving helmet AND a cowboy hat on whilst rescuing people under water.

Kids imagine a world where impossible things are possible and it’s the best. Adults, however? Well, we’re terrible when it comes to putting limitations on things.

While I can’t imagine what it must be like to try and put everyone in a box and restrict people from doing things based on anything other than ability, a WestJet passenger note is going viral across Facebook this week that would beg to differ.

We Don't Need Women In Cockpits Of Airliners

Image via Carey Smith Steacy on Facebook

“Dave” sat in 12E on WestJet flight 463 last week, scribbled out the note at the right for his pilots on a napkin, and made certain the flight attendants would get it to the flight deck.

“To Capt/WestJet

The cockpit of an airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor, not as “captain.”  We’re short mothers, not pilots WestJet. Proverbs 31

PS I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I could book another flight! In the end this is all mere vanity.

Not impressed.

Respectfully in love,
David.”

Where do you start? Really. Where do you start?! Carey Smith Steacy, the pilot in question, handled it wonderfully.

“I have heard many comments from people throughout my 17-year career as a pilot,” she wrote when sharing the image on her Facebook page. “Most of them positive. Your note is, without a doubt, the funniest. It was a joke, right? RIGHT?? I thought, not. You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a “fair lady.” You have that right. Funny, we all, us humans, have the same rights in this great free country of ours. Now, back to my most important role, being a mother.”

As a father of two boys, I’m trying to nurture their belief in the impossible. I want my 4-year-old to believe he can be a cowboy scuba diver, and I want my 6-year-old to believe he can be a policeman superhero veterinarian.

Zacharie on the flight deckWhen Zacharie got to go in and see the pilots on his flight to Disneyland last year, did he make a big deal that it was two women flying the plane? Nope. He was on the flight deck. How cool is that?!

Last weekend, Charlie was the only boy at two birthday parties filled with all sorts of pink princess decorations. He didn’t blink an eye. The girls were his friends from school and the neighborhood, and he just wanted a big piece of cake.

So when does it fall off the rails? When does a person get to the point that they believe women can’t be pilots, two adults can’t get married, and pink cake isn’t something boys should eat?

I don’t have the answers. I just know that after reading notes like this, I’m making damn sure my boys understand anyone can be anything anywhere.

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Footnote: For those who would have their authenticity meters going off, I did contact the airline to ask about authenticity and they said “I think so.”  Later, they emailed a statement to Metro News We take enormous pride in the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots and this note is very disappointing”.

Also of note, March 3-9, 2014 is Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. March 8 is International Women’s Day.

UPDATED Mar 5: Pilot Carey Steacy did an interview with CTV Vancouver and you can see the video here.

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