Chilean Air Force's first woman jet fighter pilot and Ecuadorian-born Boeing Flight Test Systems Operator share their experiences

Photo of Lt. Karina Miranda in F-5.SEATTLE, Sept. 9, 2010--The Museum pays tribute to the legacy of Latin American women pilots with a special program on Sept. 25 featuring Chilean Air Force pilot Lt. Karina Miranda--the first women to fly fighter jets for the Chilean Air Force, and pilot Ruth Morlas--an Ecuadorian immigrant, flight instructor and Boeing Company engineer. Moderating the program is The Museum of Flight's Senior Curator, Dan Hagedorn, a renowned expert on Latin American aviation. The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum. Museum admission is free on Sept. 25 to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket, which is available to download at  

Lt. Karina Miranda
Karina Miranda decided to be a pilot after her first airline flight at age 8. She joined the Chilean Air Force when she was only 17. Miranda earned her Air Force wings in 2003 and has continued her service as a military pilot. In 2006 she became Chile's first woman jet fighter pilot, flying a CASA 101. In 2010, while at the controls of a Northrop Grumman F-5, she became the first Chilean woman to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Ruth Morlas
Ecuadorian-born Morlas was 9 years old when she when she had her first plane ride--on an airline flight to Massachusetts with her parents, who hand been awarded green cards for permanent residency in the United States. Inspired by the experience, and driven by the example of her parents' strong work ethic, she eventually earned a degree in aerodynamics at the University of Virginia. Now Morlas performs in-flight systems checks on Boeing transport aircraft. Previously, she was a design engineer on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Morlas is also a commercially rated pilot and flight instructor in Seattle. In March 2010, Morlas was a participant in The Museum of Flight's "Women Fly! Symposium," which brought together successful women in aviation from around the world.

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Photo above: Lt. Karina Miranda in Chilean Air Force F-5. Photo courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Ruth Morlas with Boeing 787.
Photo courtesy Ruth Morlas.
Photo of Ruth Morlas with Boeing 787.

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