Profiles of Success
Lucy B. Young
Commercial Jet Pilot,US Airways
B.S. Biology 1976, Purdue
“The biology degree from Purdue was the launching pad of a very satisfying and fun career.”
Lucy B. Young was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on September 9, 1954
and raised in Roxbury, Connecticut, attending Shepaug Valley High School
in Washington, Connecticut. She was selected for a four year Navy ROTC
scholarship to attend Purdue University from which she graduated with a
B.S. degree in 1976. Upon graduation, she was commissioned an Ensign in
the US Navy and sent to Attack Squadron Forty-Two (VA-42) at NAS Oceana,
Virginia. Selected for flight training in August l976, she reported to
Pensacola, Florida in October 1976. Flying the T-28 Trojan and the T-44
King Air, ENS Young won her wings of gold in October 1977, after which
she was selected for Jet Transition Training.
After qualifying in the TA-4J Skyhawk, she reported to Fleet Composite Squadron One (VC-1), NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii where she accumulated over 1000 hours in a variety of fleet support missions for Pacific fleet units and multinational exercises. LT Young qualified as a Section Leader, Instructor Pilot and Air Combat Maneuvering Pilot while in VC-1, then received orders to Training Squadron Twenty-One (VT-21), NAS Kingsville, Texas. As a TA-4J flight instructor, she instructed student naval aviators in phases of advanced strike training, and carrier qualified on the USS Lexington in May 1982.
Leaving active duty in July 1983, LT Young accepted a commission in the Naval Reserve and a position in Atlanta, Georgia as the first female FAA Test Pilot, where she performed flight tests on aircraft, avionics and navigation equipment for FAA certification. LT Young affiliated with VA-2267 in January 1984 then joined VR-58, NAS Jacksonville in December 1984 flying the C-9B aircraft. In November 1985 LCDR Young reported to VR-46, NAS Atlanta, Georgia.
In May 1986 Lucy began training as a Boeing 727 Flight Engineer with Piedmont Airlines in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In October of 1987 she upgraded to First Officer on the Boeing 737, flying out of Charlotte. Promoted to Commander in July 1991, she transferred to VTU-6767 at NAS Atlanta in March 1992. In over six years with VR-46, CDR Young accumulated over 1600 hours in the C-9 and qualified as a Transport Aircraft Commander with over water/international qualification. She is a veteran of Desert Shield/Storm and flew missions to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece and Israel during this conflict.
Lucy is a member of the Ninety-Nines, Women in Aviation, Association of Naval Aviation, and Women Military Aviators. She is an Air Safety Representative for the Air Line Pilots Association, and is a retired Naval Reserve Captain. She holds the Air Transport Pilot, Flight Engineer and Certified Flight Instructor ratings and has over 13,000 hours of pilot time in over 40 different aircraft. She is currently flying as International First Officer on the Airbus A-319/320/321 for USAirways based at Boston Logan International Airport, and flies to destinations throughout the United States, Caribbean and Mexico.
"Pursuing a degree in biology at Purdue turned out to be a very good choice for someone like myself who was adventurous and gravitated toward the life sciences as part of a concern for the environment. I couldn't wait to graduate and see the world in the Navy, but I knew I needed a solid science background for the military and any environmental work afterward. Academically, the biological science degree was excellent preparation for military aviation. The chemistry and the biology background facilitated the physiological training and survival training. The core courses in physics and math were helpful for the study of aerodynamics, high altitude flying, turboprop and turbojet function. The required English courses and innumerable lab reports were invaluable in writing evaluations as an officer and reports as a flight test pilot. All this training enabled me to pursue my career as a commercial pilot and attain the goals that I set when leaving the military. Environmental science is still of great interest to me as well.
The skills mastered in obtaining a biological science degree provide women with an excellent foundation for a multitude of fields, military or civilian. The biology degree from Purdue was the launching pad of a very satisfying and fun career."