All-Female Offshore Crew Were Old Friends

A Cougar helicopter crew became the latest in the long list of all-female flights earlier this month but theirs may have been the most rare. While the cockpit demographics in the airlines and most other fields are nudging upward, female offshore helicopter pilots are among the rarest of the rare. Newly-minted captain (also extremely rare) Allison Rumbolt and longtime friend FO Zoe Webb took their Sikorski S-92 on a supply flight off Newfoundland and Labrador on June 9. “At the end of the flight you kind of look at each other and [say], ‘Wow, we have come a long way in the past number of years.’ It’s a special moment, for sure.”

Rumbolt and Webb have known each other for more than 20 years but it was the first time they’d flown together at Cougar. Rumbolt credits Webb with getting her into the industry. “I was lucky in the way that a lot of these pilots would let me get aboard these aircrafts and look around and take me for rides. Then when I was about 10 or 11 years old Zoe came into my life as a family friend and I got to experience a whole new side of aviation in the helicopter world.” Rumbolt said she’s paying it forward by trying to get girls and women interested in the field. “I think as long as you are good at your job and put the effort in, you work hard and you are not afraid to ask for help, I think you will get the respect you deserve in return and I have been very fortunate to have a lot of respect along the way.”