Recognized for her service on Sept. 11, Heather “Lucky” Penney was among the first wave of women who went directly into fighters from pilot training. She applied to fly F-16s as soon as Congress opened combat aviation to women.
The first and only woman in the 121st Fighter Squadron, Heather deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom as a night-time SCUD Hunter in the deserts of Iraq, supporting Special Operations Forces. She flew the F-16 for 10 years before making the decision to leave fighter aviation. She continued flying the G-100 Astra jet for the VIP Special Airlift Mission.
Heather works for Lockheed Martin as the Dir. of Air Force Aviation Training Systems. Her portfolio includes the F-22, the F-16 and F-35 training; she is now focused on the Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training competition.
Heather was named Ntl. Chair for the Commemorative Air Force’s RISE ABOVE: WASP program, telling the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots to children across the U.S.