Keith O’Brien, award-winning journalist and author was on campus on Thursday, December 6 to introduce his book “Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History.” The Aviation Community Foundation and the Vaughn student chapter of Women in Aviation International invited students from Vaughn and Aviation High School to attend the event with the author, who introduced the five women central to his book and took time to answer questions from attendees.


O’Brien also brought in a surprise guest – Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, who made history as the first female pilot at American Airlines in 1973. Both presenters highlighted the historical significance of women in the aviation industry, and the progress and contributions women bring to the industry today.


“The number of female pilots in the industry continues to grow,” noted Deb Henneberry, assistant professor in the aviation department. “And I am thrilled that Vaughn presents opportunities to understand the historical significance of women in aviation to our students and future aviators.”


O’Brien took time to autograph copies of “Fly Girls” for students following the discussion, which were donated by the Aviation Community Foundation.


Keith O’Brien, left, with Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo, students and Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo, center.