On Becoming An Aviatrix: Introduction

9 06 2010

When people initially find out that I’m a private pilot I often get similar responses. First there is a general look of surprise: slight gasp, widened eyes, raised eyebrows, followed by a long “Reeeaaally???” In fact, I often feel the same amazement that I am, indeed, a pilot! The next question I usually get is “How is it that you became a pilot?” What follows is an introduction to the long answer to that question.

Being able to pilot an airplane is a dream for me. Even though I’ve been a certified private pilot since December 2003 and obtained my instrument rating in October 2004, I feel excited every time I get in an airplane whether I’m the pilot-in-command (PIC) or a passenger. Of course the biggest thrill for me is piloting the plane myself. It’s a head trip to be able to actually operate a flying machine. Ever since I was a child I was intrigued by stories and movies involving flying. While traveling commercially, as a passenger, I was always in awe of the entire flight crew with their spiffy uniforms, and professional demeanor. There was a certain magic quality about them, and a special pedestal was reserved for the pilots. They were like gods! The thought never crossed my mind back then that I could be “One of them” someday. As to why that may have been the case I believe is a cultural/gender issue. This idea is touched upon by professional pilot Dottie Norkus while answering the question of “Why are there not many female pilots?” on the web site allexperts.com:

Personally, I think that even in this new millennium there are so few female pilots as the career is still considered a ‘male’ career. It is not that is it any ‘harder’ becoming a pilot for a female but I think being a pilot is still not really encouraged as a possibility to girls in school. There are still cultural and gender stereo types that affect what young girls aspire to be.

So what happened that caused me to want to become a pilot, as well as believe I could be one? I’ll begin my saga about becoming an aviatrix in my next blog post. See you there!

Previously published June 9, 2010 at Forbes.com “Wheels Up”

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