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Maria - Polish Helicopter Pilot

How did you become a helicopter pilot ?

To be honest I never wanted to be a pilot as a child... I was professional horse rider and I was planning my future only with horses. But for my 16th birthday one guy during helicopter ride let me to take the controls for a while. And those 2 minutes turns my life 180° and on the next day I was already signed for the PPL course! It was very fast decision but the best in my life.

What challenges you cale across in your career as a woman?

Hmm... As a woman none. In my opinion being a woman or a man in aviation in our times, especially in civil aviation has no differences. You have to do exactly the same work as others, study the same things and I am always saying that it doesn’t matter if you are woman or man. If you are a girl and this stops you before any step, just start to treat yourself like a person, not like a girl or a boy. Just a person, who must do the same work as everyone.

Who do you look up to? (Who is your hero / heroine)

The person who inspires me and flown first aerobatic flight in a helicopter with me is definitely Sigfried “Blacky” Schwarz!  He is amazing pilot and very nice person, I wish I can fly like him one day!!

What is your next big challenge in terms or Career?

I have a lot of challenges!! Closer ones are to finish my Instrument Rating and make Mountain Flying course. I am also participating in helicopter sport competition and for this year is to be in first 6 in Master Class. In 2 years We have next Helicopter World Championships and I am planning to be in first 3. But... Of course my biggest challenge are helicopter aerobatics! I want to be first women in the world who is doing that, but it is more challenging than aerobatics in a plane or glider, so I need a little bit more time... But I will achieve it!

What would you like to say to student or aspiring Heli pilots ?

The most important thing is that you must love what you are doing!! And love and respect the machines, so they will love and respect you. Without that it doesn’t have sense. Work hard, don’t give up and... Be positive and try to find advantages even in harder moments!

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