Passenger Tells A Female Pilot Flying Is 'No Place For A Woman'

Facebook/Carey Smith Steacy
There is a whole list of people you're smart not to tick off: a state trooper who pulled you over. A surgeon just before your operation. Your boss when asking for a raise. Oh, and the aircraft pilot you're trusting your life with while traveling.

But that's what a WestJet passenger in Canada did on a routine flight from Calgary to Victoria, British Columbia. Someone by the name of David left a note claiming that a pilot's chair was "no place for a woman" and left it for Captain Carey Smith Steacy, a commercial airline pilot with 17 years of experience, according to CTV News.Addressed to the captain and WestJet, the note, a photo of which is available online at Imgur, scrawled with many misspellings and grammatical errors on a small napkin, read that the "cockpit of airlier is no place for a woman" and that "being a mother is the most honor." The note went on to say that there was a shortage of mothers, not pilots.

At the end of the note was a reference to a Biblical verse from Proverbs, according to the site My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments. (It is little known that the Old Testament held a specific prohibition against women flying commercial aircraft.)

The front of the note ended with the thought, "I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight!"

Metro had an image of the reverse side in which David wrote, "In the end this is all mere vanity," added "not impressed," and signed it "respectfully in love."

"I just couldn't believe there are still people in this country that think like that," the pilot told Metro. "It just shocked me."

Steacy, who already is a mother, posted an image of the note on her Facebook page and added a response to the passenger, according to the Metro report. She first corrected him on terminology -- it's a flight deck and not a cockpit -- and then "I respectfully disagree with your opinion" and that "there are no places that are not for ladies anymore."

Reportedly, the passenger was asking the flight attendants whether Steacy had enough flight hours to safely handle the craft.

Steacy also wrote that David was "more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a 'fair lady.'"

In a statement to Metro, WestJet said that it takes "enormous pride in the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots and this note is very disappointing."

Update 6-March-2014, 7:46AM: A number of readers mentioned that the Biblical citation was more likely to chapter 31 in Proverbs, rather than verse 1, chapter 3. Chapter 31 describes a virtuous woman. The irony is that the ideal woman not only takes care of the home, but among other things runs a successful business: "She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."
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