The Navy’s Blue Angels are a tradition at the Marine Corps Beaufort Air Show in South Carolina and many other air shows. This particular 2015 show though, which took place earlier this month, was a historical milestone. Yes, it was the first time that a female pilot flew with the Blue Angels! Her name is Katie Higgins, and she is inspirational!
Who is Pilot Katie Higgins?
Katie Higgins is a Marine Corps Captain who explained recently to CBS News that she watched the Blue Angels fly when you was a child. Ironically, she was quoted as saying she was inspired by watching the planes in flight. Now here she is as the inspiration – awesome!
Higgins comes from a long line of military aviators; there are three generations, to be exact. Her father flew the F-18 Hornet, which is part of the Blue Angels squadron.
Inspiration as Blue Angels’ First Female Pilot
Think of all of the people that Katie Higgins inspires by being the first female pilot on the Blue Angels. There are people of all ages watching her, thinking wow I can go into aviation or do whatever else is my dream. She is an inspirational woman in particular by showing females of any age that you can do anything you set your mind to, regardless of your gender.
While females have been sitting in American cockpits for about 20 years now, it is the first time that the Blue Angels have had a female pilot. I thank Katie Higgins for the wonderful example she sets for young girls who are dreaming about what their careers will be as an adult. If someone says to them, nah, gals can’t be military pilots, they can respond by saying, well what about the Blue Angels, they have a female pilot!
On Future Female Firsts as Pilots and Otherwise
I do want to say though that I think it will be a wonderful day when it doesn’t make news anymore that there is a woman being first at this or that. It will be nice when the “firsts” for females are in our past, and instead we commend someone for being excellent at what they do rather than something related to their gender.
What I do think is cool is that if anyone were to watch the Blue Angels aviation show, they probably would not be able to tell which plane had Katie Higgins as the pilot. Why? That is because she maneuvers it just like everyone else on the team.
Yes, the Blue Angels transcends gender bias, and it would not be a complete team without Katie Higgins. Women fly planes, work on jet engines, fly in the military and head to space. People are pilots for a range of reasons, such as loving the thrill of flight and the feeling of freedom. Regardless of the answer to why someone becomes a pilot, it is great to know that the you can be one without your gender being a barrier.
Note: Thank you Michelle of BOOK CHAT for telling me about Katie Higgins. If she had not told me, I might have missed learning about this exciting milestone.
©2015 Christy Birmingham