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August 28, 2014

American names Kathi Durst as chief pilot of DFW

Kathi 8American Airlines has appointed its first female chief pilot at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, naming Capt. Kathi Durst to lead the carrier's largest pilot base.

Durst graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1981 and is a former check airman for American on its Airbus A300 and Boeing 737 fleets.

"Kathi brings strong leadership skills, experience and a high standard of professionalism with her to serve the pilots of DFW," said Capt. Jim Dees, American's director of flight at DFW.

Here is what American posted to its internal site about Durst's promotion.

"Being a trailblazer is nothing new for Capt. Kathi Durst. In 1981 she graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, in only the second class that admitted women. And she also became the first female pilot in a Flight management leadership role in American’s history when she stepped up to assume the Fleet Captain position for the Boeing 737 fleet.

"Now, Kathy has broken new ground – as the first female Chief Pilot for American at DFW. Capt. Jim Dees, Director, Flight, DFW, stated, “Kathi brings strong leadership skills, experience and a high standard of professionalism with her to serve the pilots of DFW.”

"Kathi spent her seven-year Air Force career flying the Northrop T-38 at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. In that time, she was an Instructor, Check Section Evaluator, Academic Officer, and the Student Squadron Executive Officer. While in Arizona, she earned a Master's in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

"Kathi was a former Check Airman on the Airbus A300 and Boeing 737 Fleets before taking over the Boeing 737 Fleet Manager role two years ago. She has also has spent a great deal of time mentoring young pilots through the Women in Aviation International group, and is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusiveness at American and in her community. To that end, this year she was a recipient this June of the 6th annual Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership in Diversity."

-Andrea Ahles

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