I started my career by flying airplanes. I have a Canadian Commercial Fixed wing license but there was always a fascination with helicopters. It may have something to do with the fact that the humming bird is my favourite bird and I also wanted to hover just like it does. Although I've been in aviation for 20 years, I still always have a grin on my face when I’m flying.
There are so many challenges that are faced by women in any job I think. I really feel like we have to work twice as hard to be recognized half as much. I’ve faced racism, sexism and other bias, but I do believe I have changed some minds about women being in aviation. In my last job, I was the only female pilot and I was welcomed with open arms.
My Mother is a very strong woman and I definitely get part of my personality from her. Growing up, I did not have many role models that looked like me so I ended up wanting to be like characters in movies. Indiana Jones was one of my favorites and I definitely ended up having an adventurous lifestyle. I also hate snakes, just like him :)
I’m a Type Rating Instructor on the AW139, I’m SAR and NVG qualified , a Maintenance Test Pilot and VVIP pilot. I’ve also worked in Oil and Gas so I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot so far. I’ve also been the first female pilot in many different countries I’ve worked in. I would like to share my knowledge of working in the industry and help those that are struggling.
To aspiring pilots, I would say : it’s a really tough time to be in Aviation at the moment. If you really love flying, stick with it. When you get your first job, work as hard as you can to build your hours till you can get your Captaincy. It’s worth it.
Thank you Captain Safia for sharing your incredible life experience with us ! Follow her adventure on @pilotsandpassports