B. Vancouver, British Columbia
Judy Cameron was the first female pilot to be hired by a commercial airline in Canada. Judy did not dream of becoming a pilot until after graduating high school, when she was hired by Transport Canada. There, while on the job surveying pilots, she was invited to fly. From that moment on, Judy knew she wanted to become a pilot.
Judy was accepted to the Selkirk College aviation program in British Columbia and was the only female in her class. In 1975 she graduated from the program, becoming its first female graduate.
She applied for several pilot jobs after graduation, but was not successful until 1978, when Air Canada hired her as a pilot. Being the first female pilot, she presented a lot of challenges to the company, as there were no policies for maternity leave or maternity uniforms for pilots that had to be developed.
Judy continued to make history throughout her career. In 2006 she became the first woman captain of the Boeing 767 and in 2010, the first woman captain of the Boeing 777 in Canada. In 2015 she was the recipient of the Flight Operations/Maintenance Award from the Northern Lights Foundation.
Judy retired from Air Canada on May 24, 2015, although she still continues to fly. She has said that she loves operating a powerful machine in challenging conditions, as well as the beautiful sights from the sky. She volunteers with the organizations Dreams take Flight and Wings of Courage.