Korean Air has appointed two female pilots as
Captain for the first time in the history of the airline.
Pilots Soo-jin Shin and Soo-in Hong were officially appointed Captain
on 3 November 2008, after passing the Captain Qualification Check, the final test to become an aircraft
captain given by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, a department under Koreaís Ministry
of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
To pass the final test, both Captain Shin and Captain Hong had to successfully complete
five months of rigorous training under the Captain Upgrade Training Program, which
included ground school and simulation training courses. Both pilots will take control of
their first flight as captain of a Boeing 737 aircraft on 15 November 2008.
Korea has female captains for helicopters and air force combat pilots, but this is an
historic first for Koreaís civil aviation industry.
Captain Shin started flying aircraft as a student pilot in Korean Airís Jeju Flying School in
1995. She became a First Officer pilot, the first female in Korea to achieve that, in 1997
for MD82 type aircraft, and then First Officer pilot for Boeing 747-400 aircraft since
October 2001. She has a total of 4,458 flight hours under her belt. Captain
Soo-in Hong also began her career at the Jeju Flying School in 1995 and became an MD82 First
Officer pilot in 1997. Flying as First Officer pilot for Boeing 777 type aircraft since 2001, she has accumulated 5,510 flight hours during her career
To be eligible to become an airline Captain in Korea, a candidate must have more than 5
years of experience as First Officer with more than 4,000 flight hours and 350 landings.
In addition, the candidate should have sufficient professional certifications, including
Airline Transport Pilot License, Radio Telephone Operators General Certificate, and
ICAO English Proficiency Rating. As the final decision-maker responsible for the safety
and lives of passengers and crew onboard, the candidate must be in adequate physical
condition and have leadership and quick judgment qualities.
Another Captain-candidate, First Officer Yeon-jung Hwang for Airbus 330 aircraft, is also
in training to become the third female Captain of Korean Air in November.
Korean Air currently has five female pilots and one student pilot in training.
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