Mary Bush Shipko


Mary Bush was born into an aviation family in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1949. From the time she was a toddler, she hung around the airport; and she started her formal flight training just before her 16th birthday. She flew a variety of aircraft out of both Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Miami International Airports, in the Northwest corner infamously known as both “Cockroach Corner” and “Corrosion Corner.” Mary flew World War II transport planes, as well as the Constellation and DC-6, to many exotic destinations. She was hired in 1976 as Hughes Airwest’s first woman pilot. She flew the Fairchild F-27, the DC-9, and B-727 at the airline. In 1981, Mary took a leave of absence due to post-traumatic stress symptoms caused by sexual harassment. With courage and support from family members, she has been able to rebuild her life and find joy and happiness. Her story of courage and overcoming setbacks is sure to inspire.

Selected Works

A pioneering pilot’s story of breaking gender barriers, fighting discrimination, and making peace with her experience.

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