1st African-American, all-female flight crew honored for Black History Month

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The first African-American, all-female flight crew was honored Thursday in a “First in Flight” luncheon after they made history in 2009.

The luncheon, hosted by the Metro Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), was to not only honor the women but also Black History Month.

From left to right: Captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, First Officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway (Courtesy: MNAA)
From left to right: Captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, First Officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway (Courtesy: MNAA)

On Feb. 12, 2009, Captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, First Officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway flew and attended Atlantic Southeast Airlines’ Flight 5202 from Atlanta to Nashville and returned to Atlanta on Flight 5106.

The historic flight came together at the last minute.

The original first officer became sick, so First Officer Grant stepped in.

She told News 2 what it was like to step in the cockpit and see Captain Kerr.

“The fact that it was Rachelle, an African-American female, and we just met in passing a couple weeks prior… It was amazing,” Grant said.

Kerr said, “We just looked at each other and grinned, because I think in that moment we knew.”

After the flight, it was confirmed they were indeed the first black all-female flight crew—and, to their knowledge, the only crew since.

“Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight No. 5202 was a historic milestone in the world of aviation, and we’re proud and honored that Nashville International Airport played a part in this landmark event,” said Rob Wigington, MNAA president and CEO. “As part of the Airport Authority’s celebration of Black History Month, we were honored to host the flight crew who made history right here in our city.”

The luncheon and panel discussion was held at Cal Turner Family Center on the campus of Meharry Medical College.

“We’re here to prove, if you want to be a pilot, a flight attendant, you can do it. Just dream big,” Kerr said.

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