Janis Skliar


This "Yellow Rose of Texas" was born at Bergstrom AFB. Little did her parents Bill and Jane know this baby girl would become a pilot some years later following her father's foot steps in aviation.

Janis earned her private pilots license at age 19 at Edwards AFB, CA Aero Club. She was attending Arizona State University, AZ at the time, but learned to fly during summer vacation at Edwards where her father, Bill Skliar, was stationed.

After graduation from ASU in 1974, she was teaching at a kindergarten school, but really wanted to fly for a living. She went ahead and earned her commercial and instrument ratings, but at that time there weren't too many opportunities for women pilots.

When the Air Force announced it was going to accept women into pilot training, she went down to the local recruiter to sign up even though the program was open only to women already in the Air Force. This did not deter her. She was accepted by the Air Force and attended Officer's Training School (OTS) in 1977.

After OTS she went to Aircraft Maintenance Officer's School. She was not eligible to apply for pilot training (UPT) until completing Maintenance Officer's School, which she did immediately following graduation.

As a 2nd Lt, she worked as the T-37 Flight Line Maintenance Officer for about eight months until she was accepted to UPT. She graduated from UPT at William AFB, AZ in class 1978-08.

She was assigned to Altus AFB, OK for C-141 school followed by an assignment to Norton AFB, CA in 1980. She flew all over the world in C-141's and really enjoyed it, but she did not want to spend her career in the military since she would eventually end up in a non flying job.She resigned from the Air Force when her commitment ended and joined the Air Force Reserve Squdron at Norton.

She was hired by American Airlines in 1985 but then went to Federal Express in 1986 where she is currently employed. At Fedex she has flown the B-727 as a flight engineer and first officer, the A-300 as Captain, and the MD-11 as both first officer and Captain which is her current position.

Janis is based in Anchorage, Alaska from where she flies virtually all over the world to major cities. She says growing up she was inspired by airplanes her father flew - both military and civilian. She was intrigued by the fighter pilots her father knew. Also, she knew her father always wanted a son, so she figured she was the son her father never had. Janis has two sisters - Kathy and Patti.

Footnote: Janis's father, USAF Colonel Bill Skliar flew the Mach 3+ A-12 for the CIA at Area 51 and afterwards the YF-12 for the Air Force at Edwards AFB.

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