My name is Beverly Bass. I was the first female captain with American Airlines. It was like living in a fishbowl. Everybody at the flight academy knew everything that I did. Every place I landed there were film crews. I don't come from a flight family, but I wanted to fly no matter what. I wanted to fly the biggest airplanes, and that meant the airlines. I always say to young girls today... you know, when they say "How do you survive in a male-dominated field?" And I always just say, if you are fabulous at what you do, and you maintain respect, you never lose that, it's pretty easy.
They said "Girls shouldn't be in the cockpit, hey lady, hey baby, hey!" "Why don't you grab us a drink?" And the flight attendants weren't my friends back then and they said... "Are you better than us, do you think?" The first time I saw myself was in la Jolla. We didn't know a thing about it, and I certainly didn't know that there had been a song written about my aviation career. I don't think any of us could have imagined that it was gonna become the global phenomenon that it is. She does such a fabulous job playing me. It's exactly how I would be. In the first minutes of the show the actress comes, wheels her chair out, picks up the phone, calls home, you know, says "Tom, I'm fine."