In her own lyrically beautiful and amusingly blunt words, Norah
brings to life a stranger-than-fiction story of the adventurous path she took to
the traditionally male domain of jet airliner cockpits. Wanting only a fair shot
at the ultimate career in aviation, the tall, attractive redhead encountered
both harsh resistance and touching support as she broke the gender barrier in an
environment--and an era--when political correctness was still years away.
As a female aviator with a passionate love for flying, Norah found
herself in the undesirable role of a 'lightning rod' for heated opinions.
Because of the groundbreaking nature of her employment, she bore an inordinate
amount of scrutiny and notoriety...not all of it pleasant.
Her happiest times were in the easy camaraderie that exists between crewmembers
whose home is the sky, for whom there is no greater adventure or profession than
international travel with one's own hands wrapped eagerly around the controls of
a wide body jet. O'Neill's persistence and ability to do the job eventually won
over her skeptics, clearing the way for like-minded women who followed.
She pulls no punches on either her tormentors or herself, relating
with humor and candor the uplifting, bizarre and even devastating experiences
that were all a part of her colorful and unconventional life. Norah O'Neill is
as skilled a writer as she is a pilot, bringing the reader along on a
breathtaking ride through hellish lows, exhilarating highs and astonishing
"Flying Tigress" is grandly entertaining; it captures the
interest of male and female aviation enthusiasts alike. It also opens a window
of understanding that shows men and women as both vulnerable and strong, deeply
loving and humanly imperfect--with the inevitable conclusion that we're not
really so different after all.
- Captain Jean E. Harper
Norah O'Neill, born in Seattle, was a commercial pilot for thirty years, first in the
Alaskan bush and then with the airlines Flying Tigers and Federal Express. She
was the first woman pilot for Flying Tigers, the seventh woman airline pilot
hired in the United States. She was the first woman in the world to pilot the
DC-8 and to fly passengers on the B-747. She was the first woman airline pilot
to land in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
Norah was one of the founders of the International Society of Woman Airline
Pilots in 1978. She served as vice president of that society for two years and
as historian for twenty years.
Norah gave her first
career day talk to high school students in 1974. She has continued to promote
careers for women in aviation as a speaker to elementary, high school and
college students and at aviation conferences. She has appeared on Good Morning
America and has been interviewed on radio. Articles about her have been included
in six aviation books, in numerous newspapers and in magazines, including
Cosmopolitan and Us. A life-size mannequin of her is displayed at the San Diego
Norah was a contributing
writer for the book Tiger Tales: An Anecdotal History of the Flying Tiger Line
by LeVerne J. Moldrem; Flying M Press, 1996. A chapter of the Flying Tigress
manuscript appeared in the quarterly magazine of the International Society of
Women Airline Pilots.
Norah is an active member of the International Society of Woman Airline Pilots,
Women in Aviation, the Airline Pilots
Association, the Flying Tiger Retired Pilots' Association, Mothers Against Drunk
Drivers, Planned Parenthood, and the Pacific NW Writersﾒ Association.
Norah was a navy brat and attended fifteen different schools before
graduating from the Academy of Our Lady of Peace in San Diego. She was a
finalist in the National Council of Teachers of English contest. She majored in
journalism at University of California at Santa Barbara and San Diego State
University. She holds a BS in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle
Norah is the mother of a son and
a daughter and lives in the Pacific Northwest. She is currently writing a novel.
Autobiograhy, Softcover, 327 pages.