Women of Aviation World Wide Week

I love flying, as a matter of fact I have always loved it. When my brother and I were young we had numerous airplane toys, pilot dolls, and even build-you-own runway blocks. We would endlessly talk about airplanes and even dream of becoming pilots one day. We would always ask our parents to go on a trip far away from home, just so we could fly there. Who knew that one-day, at the age of nineteen I would have the chance to co-pilot a private airplane. Dreams do come true!

I was only six years old the first time I got to fly with a commercial airplane. After a long journey of escaping war in Kosovo, living in numerous European countries, and settling in Belgium for a couple of years we finally returned home. I clearly remember the first time I stepped inside the airplane. There were numerous flight attendants dressed in beautiful and elegant suits. There were many men wearing suits and ties whom were carrying shiny briefcases.

And finally, there was the pilots’ cabin. I even had the chance to step inside and say a quick “Bonjour” before being asked to go back to my seat. I could not believe it, in a matter of few minutes I would be up in the sky.

Since I study abroad, I get to fly with commercial airplanes all the time. This may sound arrogant of me; however, because I have been in so many commercial airplanes they have become redundant. A long trip, sore neck, tired legs have become the usual complains I have while travelling. However, I had yet to pilot an airplane. Well until this month! Let me tell you how everything happened and how I found myself up in the sky of the beautiful Squamish!

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My friend, Hannah, and I play squash everyday (you can read a blot about it here). Since we are both currently in French 2 we have decided to only speak French during our games. About two weeks ago Hannah said something about airplanes, Squamish, and women’s international day. I understood many of the keyword and realized what she was saying. My face enlightened but I soon realized that the next day I had other obligations. Luckily my previous plans ended up being cancelled. Therefore, on March 7th, Hannah, Farrah, Herieth and I headed to the Squamish municipal airport with the hope that we would get to co-pilot an airplane.

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Herieth, Hannah, and I on our way to the airport.

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Once we went to the airport a lovely lady informed us that yes, we would be flying that day. I think that you can easily imagine our reaction (it involves jumping up and down and laughing out loud). The lady wrote down our personal information such as name, last name, and address. Since the airplanes were very small we had to go in two separate airplanes. I went alone and then Farrah, Hannah, and Herieth went together.

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By offering these flying classes, the Women of Aviation hopes to motivate more women to choose professions such as becoming pilots, which are mainly dominated by men.These free discovery flights were available for girls and women who have never flown in a small aircraft before. The flights were supported by Glacier Air and they were on first come, first serve basis.

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We even made new international friends!

Co-piloting an airplane, seeing Quest from the sky, and enjoying the marvelous views of Squamish were some of the most amazing experiences of my life. I feel very blessed to have had the chance to fly in a small aircraft. I hope that many other girls and women have this opportunity in the years to come.

-Poema

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