Russ College Academy of Distinguished Graduates
Connie J. Tobias, AAS '77, BGS '78. Connie J. Tobias received an associate's degree in applied science in 1977 and a bachelor’s degree in aviation in 1978 from Ohio University. In 1982, she completed studies toward a master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering.
In her 30-plus year aviation career, Connie has earned many flight certifications and has flown more than 60 different aircraft, from a 1902 Wright Glider to turbo-props to heavy jets and helicopters. She has held positions as a flight instructor; aviation examiner; pilot for charter, corporate, freight, fire patrol, commuter, regional, and major airlines; and adjunct professor of aviation at Salem College.
Today, she is a U.S. Airways captain with more than 20,000 hours and more than 900 trans-Atlantic crossings.
In 2000, Connie began performing a living history re-enactment of Harriet Quimby, the first licensed woman pilot in the U.S. and the first woman to cross the English Channel.
In 2003, she volunteered as a civilian pilot to fly troops to and from the Middle East during the Iraq war. She became the first woman to successfully fly a 1903 Wright Flyer replica in 2004 in Dayton, Ohio.
Connie has been inducted into the International Forest of Friendship and has received the Ohio University Medal of Merit. In 2004, she was instrumental in Harriet Quimby being enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Also in 2004, the National Aeronautic Association awarded Connie the certificate of recognition for her service to the American aviation community by re-enacting the past and teaching future aviators.
She is a member of the Airline Pilots Association, International Society of Women Airline Pilots, Women in Aviation International, Ninety Nines, Ohio University’s Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology board of visitors and Department of Aviation advisory board, Ohio University’s national alumni board of directors, and the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s board of nominations.