Connie Bowlin is one of the most accomplished female aviators in the world today. She grew up in Kernersville, North Carolina, and took an early interest in mechanical things, from her dad’s home built riding mower to his big rig truck. As a teenager, she not only starred on the girl’s basketball team but also performed in the high school’s “Star Dusters” dance troop. To pay for college, Connie earned money in a variety of jobs, from singing in a band to driving trucks. When Crowned Miss Winston-Salem, she also received a small scholarship. While in college, a friend’s father noticed her interest in aviation and paid for her first flying lesson. In her own words, she “was hooked.” Shortly after graduation from Winston-Salem Business College, she took to the air.in the back of Convair 880 and Douglas DC-8 and DC-9 aircraft as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines.
In 1972 she met Ed Bowlin, a pilot for Delta, and they were soon married. As the owner of an aircraft sales and consulting company, he encouraged her to pursue her love of flying. On ____, 197_, she earned her pilot wings in a ____. Bowlin took every opportunity to fly, but it took several years to build up enough flying hours to be competitive for a commercial pilot position. Hoping to fly for Delta, she launched a one-woman campaign to overturn the company’s policy against family members working in the same department. After two-years, she was exhilarated to find herself transferred to Delta’s flight department in March 1978. She was the fourth female pilot hired by Delta. She soon checked out as Flight Engineer in the Boeing 727. In 198_, Bowlin moved to the left seat as captain on the McDonnell Douglas DC-9She is now a captain on the Boeing 767 and 757. She has over 14,000 hours of flight time in 70 types of aircraft.
She holds several type ratings to include the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Douglas DC-3/C-47 Skytrain, Douglas DC-9/MD88, and Cessna Citation. She is also authorized to fly a wide range of high-performance single and multi-engine aircraft, including the North American P-51 Mustang, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, North American T-28 Trojan , Lockheed T-33, and British Aerospace Jet Provost. Bowlin is the only woman currently flying the B-17. Her flights on the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) Victory Tour are a reminder that women regularly flew this 65,500-pound powerhouse on ferry flights during World War II. She is also active in the EAA “Young Eagles Program” and enthusiastically works to encourage other aircraft owners to “give a kid a ride” and involve them in aviation. In 1995, Bowlin personally launched Young Eagles flying during the Gathering of Eagles and, to date, more than 100 youngsters have flown at Maxwell AFB. In her spare time, Bowlin writes aviation articles and has been published in several well-known aviation magazines, including Warbirds of America and Sport Aviation.