Airline passenger leaves sexist note telling female pilot 'cockpit is no place for woman'

  • The letter, by 'David' in seat 12E, said 'we're short mothers, not pilots'
  • Pilot Carey Smith Steacy found the note after flight from Calgary to Victoria
  • The mother of two posted it on Facebook calling it 'a joke'

By Carol Driver


A sexist note left in a plane for a female pilot by a passenger has caused outrage, after it suggested the cockpit 'is no place for a woman'.

The letter, scrawled in pen on the back of a napkin, was found addressed to WestJet captain Carey Smith Steacy after she completed a flight from Calgary to Victoria in Canada.

The passenger has been identified only as 'David' from seat 12E, who reportedly also told flight attendants safety was important to him, and asked whether the pilot had enough hours to be the captain.

Sexist letter: The note written by 'David' was left in seat 12E on the WestJet flight

Sexist letter: The note written by 'David' was left in seat 12E on the WestJet flight

Carey, a mother-of-two from Surrey, British Columbia, who has been a pilot for 17 years, posted the note on her Facebook page, and it made its way to online chatrooms and Reddit.

It read: 'Dear Capt/ WestJet. The cockpit of airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor [sic], not as "captain". We're short mothers, not pilots WestJet.'


He then references Chapter 31 from the Book of Proverbs, which includes a description of what makes a virtuous woman.

The letter continues: '(Sorry, not PC) PS: I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight!'

High flyer: Captain Carey Smith Steacy on board a WestJet plane

High flyer: Captain Carey Smith Steacy on board a WestJet plane

Posting it on Facebook, Carey wrote: 'To @David in 12E on my flight #463 from Calgary to Victoria today. 

'It was my pleasure flying you safely to your destination. Thank you for the note you discreetly left me on your seat.

'You made sure to ask the flight attendants before we left if I had enough hours to be the Captain so safety is important to you, too. 

'I have heard many comments from people throughout my 17-year career as a pilot. Most of them positive. Your note is, without a doubt, the funniest. It was a joke, right? RIGHT?? I thought, not. 

'You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a “fair lady", You have that right. Funny, we all, us humans, have the same rights in this great free country of ours. 

'Now, back to my most important role, being a mother.'

She told Metro News: 'I just couldn’t believe there are still people in this country that think like that.'

WestJet said it has 1,118 male pilots and 58 female pilots, adding: 'We have captains and first officers among our female pilots and always have since we launched in 1996.'

A statement added: 'We are enormously proud of the professionalism, skills and expertise of our pilots and we were disappointed to see this note.'

The comments below have not been moderated.

Unfortunately, women are often exempt from the same standards that men need to meet (public safety, fire-fighter, military, etc.), and as most of us know they are not held to the same accountability level as are men by law. I've seen this first-hand. It would be interesting to see how many women would prefer a man as a pilot over a woman. Only then, when it pertained to their own safety, would we likely get an honest answer from most modern-day women.

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My gosh, I believe the guy is right. Have you ever seen a woman drive a car? That's all I need to know.

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Excellent response!

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Excellent response!

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Nothing wrong with female pilots. They have flown all types of aircraft, including Concorde. If they didn't make announcements the passengers wouldn't the difference.

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Oh fer cryin' out loud "David in 12E" women have been BUILDING planes for over a century, let alone flying them. Get a grip, man. Being a mother and a pilot are not mutually exclusive. Most of the women - mothers, all - I knew growing up worked outside the home. I can't think of one who was a stay-at-home mom and I grew up in the 1950s, early 1960s. My mother was a phlebotomist for the county lab, neighbors were teachers, phone operator, food servers, a highway toll taker and a bank clerk. Every one of them had kids (I'm one of NINE, our corner neighbor had 8, 2 next door, 5 across the way etc - Baby Boomer era.) I thought we'd left this attitude back in the 1970s.

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Geez Louise, women have been building planes for over a century, for that matter, and flying them that long. We're a pretty talented bunch; we can be mothers AND pilots -- or whatever we choose. Believe me I'd rather have somebody at the controls who can manage a dozen things at once without turning a hair (job description: Mom) than not.

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Love Westjet. Always great crews, men and women:)

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Enough already this story has been beaten to death already. No one denies that Braved is an idiot. I think there are more importanthings going on in the world right now. She has had her 15 minutes if fame now more on to the things that are truly important.

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Inspired by misguided religion

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