All-Women Team Of Pilots Make History In Super Bowl Flyover

For the first time in history, an all-female team of U.S. Navy aviators conducted the pregame flyover.

For the first time, the U.S. Navy jet flyover before kickoff at the Super Bowl was piloted by a team of all women.

Four planes flew in formation over State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, commemorating 50 years since women were allowed to become U.S. Navy pilots. The flyover followed the national anthem ahead of the contest between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

Navy Lt. Catie Perkowski told ABC’s “Good Morning America” last week it was “surreal” to have been selected to pilot the flyover.

“My dad did ask me to call him from the sideline on the Super Bowl,” she said. “I’ll do my best.”

The majority of the logistics, maintenance and ground crew supporting the flyover are also women from the U.S. Navy, according to The Aviationist website.

Women weren’t allowed to fly in the U.S. Navy until 1973, when the first group of women started its flight school. The following year, six women earned their wings, a group that became known as “The First Six.” Despite the intervening 50 years, the Navy has continued to struggle with female representation. Today, women make up just 15% of naval aviators, CBS reported.

In 2019, when Capt. Rosemary Mariner, the Navy’s first female jet pilot, died at age 65, the Navy conducted its first-ever all-female flyover during her funeral service in Maynardville, Tennessee.

“The wisdom that she had to share was really amazing,” Perkowski said of Mariner in her interview with “GMA.” “To have the ability to represent people like her that came before us and made everything that we do possible is truly an honor.”

Sunday’s flyover was comprised of two F/A-18F Super Hornets from the “Flying Eagles” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122, an F-35C Lightning II from the “Argonauts” of VFA-147, and an EA-18G Growler from the “Vikings” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129.

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