All Female Flyover at the Super Bowl Makes History


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On February 12, 2023, Superbowl LVII made history via its annual flyover over the game; the military aircrafts were entirely piloted by women. The pilots flew in a diamond formation, representing 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy.
History of Women Pilots in the Navy
Women weren’t allowed to fly in the U.S. Navy until 1973, when the first eight women navy pilots began flight school in Pensacola, Florida. The U.S Navy said in a press release that, “Since then, women have served, operated, and led at every level of naval aviation.”

Six of those first eight women, nicknamed “The First Six,” earned their Wings of Gold a year later. Even 50 years later, only about 15% of Navy pilots are women.
Meet the Pilots of Superbowl LVII
Suzelle Thomas flew an F-35C Lightning II over the Superbowl, one of the Navy’s newest aircrafts. Thomas previously made history as the first woman to qualify directly to fly the aircraft.

Caitie Perkowski and Naomi Ngalle flew one of the two F/A-18F Super Hornets in the formation. Perkowski described being a part of the all-female flyover as “surreal.” Ngalle says that she is thrilled to inspire the next generation of female aviators.

Arielle Ash and Saree Moreno flew the other F/A-18F Super Hornet. Ash says that she joined the Navy because she was “interested in flying, and thought that flying off of a carrier would be a neat opportunity.” Moreno said she was honored to be “here with [her] team and the people representing so many squadrons across our flight line.”

Margaret Dente and Lyndsay Evans flew an EA-18G Growler. When asked how she felt about the experience, Dente said, “I just feel honored to be here, honored to be a part of this exciting moment in history, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity.” To anyone who wants to be part of the navy aviation, Evans says “if you want to do this, it’s possible.”