Since the spring of 1973, when women began entering the naval aviation program, a number of female pilots have become Carrier Qualified (CARQUALED) in the C-1A Trader, but LT Jan "Jonnie" Bennett stands out as being the first one to fly the C-2A Greyhound and trap aboard a carrier in it. Born in Spencer Iowa, she was graduated from the University of Colorado where she majored in aerospace technology. After joining the Navy in August 1976, LT Bennett applied for flight training but was first required to undergo major eye surgery in order to qualify. Upon successful completion of surgery, she entered flight school in February 1978, received her Wings of Gold in August 1979, CARQUALED in the T-28 aircraft in October 1979, and then in the E-2C Hawkeye during December 1980.

LT Bennett was assigned to VR-24 at NAS Sigonella, Italy in April 1981 and made her first trap in a C-2A while on deployment in June 1981. Since that time, she has accumulated over 1,000 flight hours (including civilian flying), more than 180 of which are in Greyhounds. LT Bennett also holds the distinction of being the first woman pilot to CARQUAL in the E-2C and the T-28.

Beside being a Navy aviator, her collateral duties at Sigonella are those of VR-24 Line Division Officer.

On the personal side, LT Bennett is married to a Norwegian Air Force pilot who presently flies the P-3 Orion and is stationed in Andoya, Norway, which is located on Norway's northwestern coast above the Arctic Circle. With flying as a family cornerstone, it's not surprising that LT Bennett loves flying the C-2A and intends on making the Navy her career. And judging from her accomplishments thus far, it should be long and successful.

Source: VR-24 Squadron Information