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Pilot suing Continental says pornography permeated cockpits

September 12, 1997

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ She was the first woman at Continental Airlines to become captain of an Airbus A300, yet Tammy S. Blakey said she was regularly humiliated and belittled by male pilots who also left pornography around the cockpit.

``It was embarrassing. I knew those guys were looking at it,″ Blakey testified Thursday in her lawsuit against Continental. She says the airline failed to keep cockpits free of offensive material and retaliated when she complained of sexual harassment.

The Houston-based airline denies the charges and says her complaints only began when her schedule changed and the company raised concerns about poor attendance.

Blakey, 38, said she has been on unpaid ``administrative leave″ since July 1993, several months after filing her lawsuit here, where Continental maintains one of its major hubs at Newark International Airport.

She has had to sell some retirement assets and part of her ranch in Arlington, Wash., to support her 3 1/2-year-old daughter, she said.

Blakey, who is seeking an unspecified amount of lost salary and damages, was to continue testifying today.

Blakely joined Continental in 1984. She testified that she was mocked as soon as she became qualified to fly the 272-passenger A300, around 1989.

She said the assistant chief pilot of the A300 captains took her to the plane’s cockpit where, in the captain’s seat, she found a 10-inch-tall doll with blond hair in a ponytail, like her own.

``I was belittled. That was uncalled for,″ Blakey said.

She also told the jury that she found cockpits littered with pornography: glued to the bottom of drawers, pasted on the door, underneath the chairs, and slipped into flight manuals and maintenance logbooks that were regularly consulted.

Pilots also affixed pornography to the backs of removable wall panels in the cockpit that were marked with ``x″ to alert others where to look, Blakey said.

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