Super Bowl features all-female flight crew for 50 years of women in naval aviation

Published: Feb. 12, 2023 at 11:09 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A historic moment during Super Bowl 57 with an all-female flight crew conducting the flyover during the National Anthem. You could see the aircraft formation and even inside the cockpit.

The all-female flyover helped mark 50 years of women in naval aviation.

“It’s a thrill to be a part of any Super Bowl flyover,” said Lt. Kathryn Martinez. “It’s my first one obviously. It’ll probably be my last one. It’s once in a lifetime and to be able to do it with six other females right there next to us as we hit the stadium is really just a humbling experience.”

Lt. Martinez joined the Navy in 2014, continuing a legacy.

“50 years ago, it was really hard,” she explained. “Obviously, the first six females earned their wings of gold and that’s an incredible feat for them.”

Martinez says there’s even more significance to the flight.

“What’s very unique about it is it’s actually three different aircraft, so we’re flying two F-18s, affectionately known as the Super Hornet or the Rhino,” said Lt. Martinez. “We’re flying an F-35 and we’re flying an EA-18 which is called the Growler. So, they’re also kind of featuring the future of the carrier airwing.”

While 50 years ago people might not imagine where we’d be today, Martinez is feeling grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s great that it’s an all-female flyover, but really, it’s the ability to just go up there and do it just as pilots and aircrew, not female pilots and female aircrew is such a privilege,” she said.

Months of preparation for just a few seconds on all of our screens. It was a moment that’ll stick for years to come.

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