Meet Michelle aka Ms Aviatrix
I always dreamed of flying, but helicopters aren’t as usual in Sweden so I never thought of flying heli. I started to study to become an airplane pilot in San Diego in 2013, and my grandmother was going to lend me the money. I started to study PPL from home and then I went to the USA. But my grandma got a stroke and we didn’t have any papers signed. So her economical guardian (I don’t know what you call it), wouldn’t lend me the rest of the money and I had to go home without a license. The money I had payed the first two months with was from my own savings so I was really broke when I got back home. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to go back to my old job so I applied to become a flight attendant! I got the job but could not leave the thought of flying myself, although I thought flying a big airplane seemed a little boring, and I realized I wanted to fly a little more hands-on.
Then I met a colleague who was dating a helicopter pilot and she told me that the Swedish government were going to start to sponsor 14 spots for helicopter pilots. I applied but didn’t get in. The next year I bought helicopter games, joystick, books etc to prepare myself for the tests, but the government never sponsored any spots that year. The year after that they got 14 more spots and I got in! I took my PPL, CPL and frozen atpl and I got my EC120 rating in may last year (yeeeey😄 💃).
In Europe it’s hard to get to fly during the first job (usually you start as ground crew for the first years, but I was eager to fly), so I went to Hawaii and Mauna Loa to become a CFI. I love MLH, and I looooove flying in Hawaii😍
I had to go back home for a few months to take care of a family member who got sick, but I’m planning on heading back and finish my training with MLH in a few weeks.
So my major challenges have been economical ones. The schooling was really though too. But if there’s a will there’s a way and that’s my best advice to give. It took me many years to get where I am but I’m finally here and it is so worth it! 🤩 My future challenge is to get a job in the USA, but it feels like the market is pretty good for heli pilots right now.
I look up to a lot of people, Richard Branson is one of them because he is also a person who never gave up and believed in himself! But I look up to people who try to fulfill their dreams without taking advantage of other people. One challenge as a female is unfortunately that a lot of people don’t take you seriously and sadly enough that there’s some girls in the industry who are mean to each other too.. I think women need to stick together and help each other succeed in this business! 💪👩✈️🚁☺️
About motivation & resilience : Such an inspirational story Michelle thank you for sharing your journey with the Helichix community!