Stacey Marcus: Love at First Flight

7 Sep

 Last week I introduced Robert Holmes, an African American airline captain. Now, I am going to introduce Stacey Marcus, one of seven African American female captains in an industry of over 175 airline pilots. As you can see by these figures, Black pilots are virtually invisible in the aviation industry. Outside of the two captains that made history as members of an all Black female flight crew in February, African American female pilots have not been seen on TV. Thus, it is an honor to share Stacey Marcus’ story on As Not Seen on TV.

Stacey Marcus
Stacey Marcus: Love at First Flight


Some people fall in love at first flight; others fall in love at first bite. Stacey Marcus fell in love with airplanes on her very first airplane ride from New York to Washington, DC at age 6. Thus, it was love at first flight.

The courtship began when she enrolled as a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. She received all of her pilot licenses at the same time she earned her Bachelor’s degree. Like Robert, she was qualified to fly, but did not have the required flying time for commercial planes. To gain the experience she needed to apply for commuter and major airlines, she obtained worked as flight instructor which she did for four years. And she has been flying ever since. She flew for American Eagle for two and a half years, and has been with working for United Parcel Service (UPS) for over 13 years.

As with any relationship, there are good times and there are challenges. Generally speaking, Stacey has had quite a successful in her career. Not only did she have lots of family support; she was blessed to have landed a job in the industry she loved even as layoffs were occurring.
“Traveling around the world at someone else’s expenses” is an additional blessing. Her travels have taken her to Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia.

She could not recall any obvious challenges. However, being one of seven Black female captains in the airline industry is hardly unnoticeable. Stacey is hopeful that “sometime within the next 10 years there will be significantly more than seven [captains].” On a more positive note, there seems to be a larger pool of black female pilots that are just getting on with major commuter airlines, but it is taking them longer to obtain the “left seat” due to the economy and shrinking pilot forces.

To young people that want to be airline pilots, Stacey shares the following wisdom:
• Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything for whatever reason regardless of finances, race, or sex.
• If you want to do something, do it.
• If someone is offering to help you obtain your goals, accept it. In the future, look to offer that same amount of help to someone else.

This concludes Stacey Marcus’ tale of love at first flight. Her love of flying is as strong today as it was when she first fell in love at first flight over 35 years ago.

Editor’s Note: I would like to thank Stacey for taking the time to share her story with As NOT Seen on TV. I would also like to thank the leaders of the Organization of Black Airline Pilots (OBAP) for assisting with this story.

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2 Responses to “Stacey Marcus: Love at First Flight”

  1. James Horvath April 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    I was one of Stacey's flight students in the early days. After going back and forth, trying to gather enough money to pay for flying lessons through college I finally earned my Private Pilots license with her. I must admit she is a darling, a terrific mentor, really on-the-ball, and just a nice person to have instructing.I am so pleased to see she get kudos which she so deserves.

  2. AsNotSeenOnTV April 30, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    Thanks for stopping through. Please send other students to stop by and comment.

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