I screamed with fear the whole time during my first flight in a small aeroplane

I was 5, and my Mum’s eardrums still haven’t recovered.
As part of International Women of Aviation Week, some of the women from theWellington Aero Club were in the Sunday Star-Times (6 March 2016) and we talked about how aviation is a male-dominated industry but is becoming more popular with women.

My day job has me running events, and I’m lucky enough to have a sweet hobby where I teach people how to fly aeroplanes.

 

Why I got into flying

I grew up in a small village just outside of Hastings, and there was an airfield down the road so I was looking skyward often.

I was in Scouts when I heard of the Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School, a 2 week camp where you complete a good chunk of ab-initio flight training, so I applied and went along.

That was pretty much it for me, that school got me hooked. It completely changed the direction I was taking and I knew I needed aviation in my life, I just didn’t know how, yet.

 

But girls can’t be pilots

I was surprised at those who tried to block my progress; surprised by who they were and their reasons.

My high school careers adviser told me girls can’t be pilots. I chose to get my advice elsewhere.

During an informal job interview, the Chief Pilot told me he’d never hire me, no matter my qualifications because I didn’t have a d*&#. In those words. I wouldn’t have wanted the job, anyway.

We all face challenges, and having an International Women of Aviation Week allows us to have a platform to voice our progress, challenges and successes. It is a time for celebration!

If you want to know more about learning to fly, feel free to get in touch or check out the Wellington Aero Club – there’s loads of helpful information there.