Captain Annie Kristensen and her crew...
It was just an other morning at Ørsta-Volda airport. The sun was shining brightly, dawn hours behind us, despite the early hours. A mottled crowd is waiting for the plane, a lot more women than normal, and even some children. A taxi pulls in, and out comes three persons in uniform. It was one green of the Widerøe stewardesses, and two navy pilot uniforms. Only something was slightly off. Had the uniforms changes? Suddenly the day took on a different luster. The world had shifted, subtly. Nothing big, more like the faint sound of a battle heard at a long distance, hinting that in some areas of our society there are still battles to be fought, and prejudices to overcome.
The crew of Widerøe flight 144 from Hovden to Gardermoen July 9th 2004 was all female! I had to ask to make sure, and yes, it was. Both the captain and the first officer, as well as the steward. The steward went through the announcements, and it gave me a tiny little thrill each time she said "Captain Annie Kristensen and her crew..." At one point, in her english announcement, she slipped though, and said "Captain Annie Kristensen and his crew." But she was flustered, as she had announced our landing to the wrong airport as well. Still, it showed how ingrained the "his" is in that phrase, what a long way that all female crew had come, and how far we still have to go until the "her" slips as easily off the tongue. Pilots, particularly captains, are male.
Me, I just sat there and enjoyed. Annie Kristensen, Captain, and your crew: you made my day!