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Female, Male Pilots Taken Off Carrier

Sat., Jan. 21, 1995

The Navy has ordered Lt. Shannon Workman of Cumberland, Md., the first woman to qualify as a combat pilot on an aircraft carrier, off the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower because of her difficulties in landing jet planes on the ship, Navy officials said Friday.

The Navy took the same action for the same reason against Lt. Gerald DiLeonardo, a male pilot in Workman’s EA-6B squadron. The EA-6B is a bulky, twin-engine jet loaded with electronic warfare gear, which must be brought down in a carrier landing in the center of a short stretch of deck to catch one of four arresting wires.

Navy officials stress that their standards are equally tough for female and male pilots in determining whether to allow them to fly off carriers. There are still 10 female aviators on the Eisenhower, six of them pilots, performing well, officials said.

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