Updated: Apr 23, 2020
As a child I used to dream I could fly. Later, when I turned 15 I went on a cruise to Alaska with my family and we took a helicopter tour over the mountains and landed on the middle of a glaciar. I can’t describe how I felt that day! I remember looking at the pilot and thinking about how awesome he looked flying that incredible machine just as I was experiencing the same sensations and emotions as my dreams when I was a child! I realized that day I had to do anything to become a helicopter pilot!!!
Living on a Country where gender inequality is still an issue was the most difficult challenge. Some people told me it was a career made just for men. Others looked at me as if I was wasting my money because as a woman I would never learn to fly a helicopter. But here I am, overcoming those challenges and expecting to learn much more!!!
Even if it sound as a cliche, my parents are my heroes! They are the ones who worked as hard as they could to pay for my training. They are the ones who encouraged me every single day to give my all and become a better pilot each day. They comforted me on times I felt I wasn’t good enough to get a job as a woman pilot, and they have been always there to celebrate my achievements as well! I feel grateful for them, everything I am is thanks to them!
I think I’m about to become the first agricultural helicopter pilot in my country. That is already a huge challenge for me. However, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a rescue pilot, so we’ll see.
I would tell them to keep flying with passion and loving everything they do! One of my instructors told me once that “The difference between a good pilot and an excellent pilot, is that the last one keeps studying every day and never loses the curiosity of learning new things and becoming a better pilot each day
Maria Paula works at Heliagro SAS in Columbia, providing agriculture aerial spraying services. More about her @mapaulao8a !