America’s first female Zeppelin pilot takes off

Andrea Deyling has joined Airship Ventures in the San Francisco Bay area as an airship pilot, becoming America’s first female Zeppelin pilot. A licensed LTA pilot, Deyling has been training on the Zeppelin Eureka since November 2011 and officially earned her Zeppelin qualification this month.

In climbing into the left seat of the world’s largest passenger airship, Deyling becomes the 22nd pilot qualified to fly the Zeppelin NT. There is only one other female pilot in this elite group, Katharine Board, who had previously piloted Eureka and now pilots a Zeppelin NT in Germany.

Andrea Deyling and her CFI Benjamin Travis (Photo by Chris Polk)

“More than just the fact that she is someone who’s broken barriers and become a first in her field, Andrea’s an excellent pilot who will be a tremendous asset to our ability to execute special missions and passenger operations,” commented Airship Ventures CEO Brian Hall. “She stands out among her peers as one of the fastest to complete the Zeppelin training and is the first of Eureka’s pilots to complete her training already signed off to provide initial instruction to trainee pilots. We’re thrilled to have her talents round out Airship Ventures’ first-ever all-American pilot roster.”

Deyling brings more than 2,500 hours in airships to her role as pilot at Airship Ventures. Prior to piloting the Zeppelin NT, she flew a variety of blimps and most notably served as Chief Airship Pilot at High Degree Operations. As a blimp pilot, her flight assignments ranged from acting as spokesperson and brand ambassador to piloting a Navy blimp in support of the Coast Guard clean-up following the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The daughter of an Army paratrooper, she was exposed to aviation at a young age. A high school aviation camp turned this interest into a career path and upon graduating from Kent State University’s Aerospace Flight Technology program, the adventure of travel and flying nostalgic aircraft lured Deyling to a career in airships. In addition to her airship experience, Deyling is a fixed wing pilot and flight instructor, as well as an accomplished sailor who has circumnavigated the globe on a square-rigged tall ship.

“A love of traveling and adventure drew me to air ships and I have yet to be disappointed in my choice,” said Deyling. “Piloting Eureka is an incredible experience and the next step in this adventure. I’m excited to be taking her to the skies.”

Founded in 2007 in California, Airship Ventures operates the only commercial passenger airship in the United States, Eureka, the world’s largest passenger airship. Using the inert gas helium for lift, and vectored thrust engines for flight, Zeppelin NTs have been flying with an unparalleled safety record since 1997, company officials note.

For more information:



People who read this article also read articles on airparks, airshow, airshows, avgas, aviation fuel, aviation news, aircraft owner, avionics, buy a plane, FAA, fly-in, flying, general aviation, learn to fly, pilots, Light-Sport Aircraft, LSA, and Sport Pilot.


  1. Rod Beck says

    Now what aviation REALLY needs is a brave women to duplicate “Amelia’s” 1937
    flight (unfinished) in a Super Ultralight 2012 – but that would required some very efficent (auto) fuel management and a 90 lb pilot!  Kent, perhaps you could be of great techical assistance here?

  2. Kent Misegades says

    Nice to see more Zeppelin NTs in the air. Isn’t Martha King also a licensed blimp and airship pilot?   But….when will the “first female to….breaking barriers….” talk end?  Women have flown nearly as long as men have, and I have never heard that they were not permitted in the cockpit of a blimp or a Zeppelin.  In fact, with all the programs & scholarships available exclusively to women for aviation careers, it’s a wonder men don’t complain more.   The fact that still only relatively few choose to pursue the career should be about as surprising as the fact that few men choose to become nurses.  We’re wired differently, get over it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *