Erika DeLong is  First Officer at United Airlines flying the Boeing 737. She is a third-generation pilot who knew at age five that she wanted to be an airline pilot; and that her gender identity did not match her physical body. At age nineteen, even before having her first flight lesson, Erika purchased her first airplane, a 1966 Cessna 150, and began taking lessons.

Erika had flown professionally for 19 years at Endeavor Airlines. She was the first transgender pilot to transition at her former employer. During her transition, she worked with them to bring awareness of an individual’s needs and helped create policies for inclusion. This effort allowed her to continue her employment, fly openly as a transgender pilot since 2014, and advance her career flying as a CRJ-900 Captain/IOE Instructor.

Outside of work, Erika is a general aviation owner and hobbyist, wife, mother, and role model. She is the Transgender Member Support Chairwoman with the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) and an active board member. In her Transgender Member Support role, she helps aviation individuals navigate their transition by mentoring them through the FAA first class special issuance medical process and works as a liaison/consultant for airline employers and transgender employees. In addition to member support, she has been active in speaking on transgender topics at various aviation events, including several Diversity and Inclusion conferences focused on airline leadership and human resource staff.

Stay current with the monthly NAVEGAYTOR e-newsletter!

Sign up