Jill Brown-Hiltz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jill Brown-Hiltz
ResidenceBaltimore, Maryland
Known forPilot

Jill Brown-Hiltz (1950−) is the first black woman to serve as a pilot for a major U.S. airline.[1] She started flying at the age of 17, and performed her first solo flight in a Piper J-3 Cub.[2] Brown-Hiltz graduated from the University of Maryland and took a job teaching home economics.[3] In 1974 she signed up to fly in the U.S. Navy, and was the first black woman admitted to the program, but left six months later with an honorable discharge.[4][5] Brown-Hiltz then went on to work for Wheeler Airlines, the first black owned and operated airline, where she worked as a ticket clerk and occasional co-pilot until she earned the required amount of flight hours to fly for the airline as a pilot.[3] In 1978, at 28 years old, she started flying for Texas International Airlines, becoming the first African-American woman to fly for a major U.S. airline.[2] Later, Brown-Hiltz sued United Airlines in 1987 for racial and gender discrimination after she applied to work there three times and was never hired.[6][7][8] The court sided in United Airlines' favor.[9]


  1. ^ Jones, Jae. "Jill Elaine Brown: First African-American Woman to Serve as a Pilot for Major U.S Airline". blackthen.com. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  2. ^ a b Burgen, Michelle (August 1, 1978). "Winging It at 25,000 Feet". Ebony. pp. 58–60, 62.
  3. ^ a b Kaplan Gubert, Betty; Sawyer, Miriam; Fannin, Caroline M. (2002). Distinguished African Americans in Aviation and Space Science. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9781573562461.
  4. ^ "Little Known Black History Fact: Jill Brown-Hiltz". Black America Web. 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  5. ^ "Celebrating African Americans in Aviation: Women at the Forefront". San Diego Air and Space Museum. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  6. ^ "Jill E. Brown-Hiltz v. United Airlines, Inc., 132 F.3d 36 – CourtListener.com". CourtListener. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  7. ^ Archer, Marlee (2015-06-04). "How Jill Brown-Hiltz Paved the Way for Black Female Pilots in the U.S. Airline Industry". Atlanta Black Star. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  8. ^ "Jill Elaine Brown-Hiltz: 1st African American Female Pilot For A Major U.S. Airline". Blackmail4U.com. 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  9. ^ "Jill E. Brown-Hiltz v. United Airlines, Inc., 132 F.3d 36 – CourtListener.com". CourtListener. Retrieved 2018-07-30.