LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A veteran pilot filed a sex discrimination lawsuit Tuesday alleging she was fired by an airline because her legs were too short to fly certain types of aircraft.

Shari Drerup told reporters at a news conference she accepted a position with NetJets Aviation in Dec. 2016, but never had the chance to fly after her instructor deemed her legs were too short. The airline later suggested she get a booster or platform shoes in order to allow her to fly, according to Drerup.

A 14-year veteran with more than 4,000 flight hours flying private jets, Drerup said she had concerns about safety and requested to be transferred to one of the other aircraft flown by NetJets that she was already certified to handle.

Shari Drerup during a news conference Tuesday (credit: CBS)

Instead of doing that, Drerup and attorney Gloria Allred say she was fired.

She alleges that male pilots who were deemed too tall to fly the same plane were assigned to other aircraft and not terminated.

“I had such a problem from the moment they determined I was too short to fly this airplane, they should’ve helped me,” said Drerup. “They should’ve said, ‘You know what, we’ve got other aircraft in the fleet, you’re a good pilot, let’s put you in another airplane’. But they didn’t.”

NetJets Aviation declined to comment on pending litigation.


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