All female aircrew flies C-17 over historic airshow

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Haley Phillips
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

An all-female aircrew from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina supported the Oregon International Airshow’s first all-female piloted event May 21 with a C-17 Globemaster III flyover.

This was the first all-female piloted air show since the show’s inception in 1988 in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The airshow is Oregon’s largest aviation event, and its goal is to honor the military, give back to local charity, and promote aviation; however, this year included an additional purpose to highlight women in aviation.

The all-female crew was made up of women from the active duty 437th Airlift Wing and Air Force Reserve Command’s 315th Airlift Wing.

Capt. Meghan Griffin, a C-17 pilot with the 317th Airlift Squadron, was the event coordinator for JB Charleston, and she said planning for the airshow was a longer process than most.

“I contacted the air show president two years ago when the first show was supposed to happen,” she said. “Sadly, due to Covid the show was canceled.”

Lt. Col. Amanda Gierhart, a C-17 pilot at the 317th Airlift Squadron, said that this was her first time being a part of an all-female crew in her entire flying career.

The C-17 made its way from Charleston, S.C. to debut in the air show flying over the crowd at 1,000 feet. The 2022 air show was the first since 2019 due to COVID-19 cancellations. 

Despite all the hurdles, Griffin said that it was an awesome experience to be a part of the airshow and hopes that it inspires many young girls to pursue their interests in aviation.

“I believe an all-female airshow is important to show young girls the possibilities,” said Griffin. “When I was young my mom told me I could do anything but women were not visible in many career fields. It’s awesome to see how things have changed.”

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