Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Remembering Norah O’Neill

Norah lost her battle with cancer the morning of September 22nd and peacefully Flew West with her children by her side.  A Celebration for Norah will be held at 6pm on Sunday, November 12th at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.  Refreshments and Hors d"ouereves will be served.  You can RSVP by clicking on the following link below
IMPORTANT: All RSVP's are requested by October 12, 2017

Born August 23, 1949 in Seattle, Washington, Norah O'Neill learned to fly in 1973 and became the first woman pilot for Alaska Central Air (1974) and the Flying Tiger Line (1976).  During her thirty-five years as an airline pilot, Norah amassed 22,000 hours and was the first woman in the world to pilot the Douglas DC-8 (1977) and to fly passengers on the Boeing 747 (1980)  Piloting large jet transports on trans-pacific routes for Flying Tigers resulted in Norah being photographed and interviewed by Asian publications as the first woman airline pilot to land in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong.

Mentoring and encouraging the female aviators who followed her was an important part of Norah's career. She was one of the founders of theInternational Society of Women Airline Pilots in 1978. She served as vice president of that society for two years and as historian for twenty years. She is also a contributing member of the Women in Aviation International and the Ninety-Nines: International Organization of Women Pilots. Norah continued throughout here retirement to speak at schools and institutions to women about the importance of pursuing their dream careers.

Norah's memoir, Flying Tigress gives a candid account of the many challenges she overcame to become a woman 747 pilot in the male dominated commercial pilot profession.  She was also a contributing writer for Tiger Tales, An Anecdotal History of the Flying Tiger Line and Heart of a Military Woman.

Norah has been featured in exhibits about women in aviation at various air and space museums, including the San Diego Aerospace Museum and the "Chasing Horizons: Women in Aerospace" exhibit at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle. 
In 2009, Norah was inducted into the International Forest of Friendship for her outstanding contributions to aviation.  In 2010 she was one of 100 women pioneers honored by the University of Washington Women's Center at the suffrage centennial gala, "Women Unbound".
Since retirement from FedEx in 2009, Norah resided in the Pacific Northwest where she created wearable art for her own custom, Tigress One Designs (left).

One of the latest stories about her achievements and career by aviation author and FTL corporate and P40 pilot, John Hazlet.  It was published in the Fall 2015 edition of the American Aviation Historical Society.  (To be uploaded - please check back)

Portland 2017 with Bob DeArmond

Seattle 2014 with Eliot Shulman, Sue Lamy Utter & John Dickson

Norah O'Neill's last two attendances at FTLPA events were during the  40-Year Anniversary Reunion in Seattle (2014) where she was honored for her strength and determination while battling her diagnosis. We last saw Norah earlier this year during our 2017 Portland Reunion where, more than ever before, she shined with radiance and beauty.  She will forever remain admired for her courage and loved within our hearts.

An interview with Norah in 2013 for S.H.E. Lifts Off
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