I confess that when I was a beginner I was a bit afraid of my application to the aeroclub. No surprise--there were not any women pilots. It was not easy to fight against stereotypes: men tend to believe that women just want to find a boyfriend or they think that a woman pilot cannot have a successful career. So this is my situation... everybody thinks that just men pilots are real pilots. Technical sports are for men. But is this true?
Looking back to my short career I think it’s more advantageous to fly as a woman. I’d like to show these advantages through my personal experience. I am not a feminist, so don’t worry after the introduction of this article.
- I get more help, patience and politeness. If I can not close the door of the hangar, it’s no problem. I can wait for a strong boy to help me. I don’t have to lift heavy gliders, boys help me again. What is more, I shouldn’t do winches. I just fly ;) although I try to help where I can. For example I take care of the paper work.
- It’s easier to show up. It’s natural (or no?) that there are less women pilots than men so for example on a competition it’s not as hard as a man to win. But let’s see everyday life! Here, in Hungary, in a sport club there’s only one, or maybe 2-3 women pilots. If I succeed in a task, I score full marks for the achievement.
With my blog it’s also easier to show up. People are more interested in the experience of a woman pilot because they like novelty. It’s almost a myth when a woman decides to learn how to fly an airplane.
In spite of the several advantages women pilots just come and then go. It’s seems to be that the hardest thing is to persist in soaring. For a lot of women it’s impossible to imagine a weekend without some shopping, friends and parties. And without comfort.
Moreover, success is not a guarantee. The weather can spoil the plans and it’s also hard to accept our mistakes. You should learn how to work as a part of a team and to observe the rules.
Recently I asked an elder lady about her experience under the social regime. The answer was a surprise for me! During that era it was free to learn flying so I thought that there were more women. She said that it was very rare to see a successful career, most of the beginners didn’t even have a solo. Without toughness and motivation they usually finish this sport. And naturally, for a woman, family is the first. (at the age of 30-40)
Last year when I was a beginner an other girl started the course with me. I was happy cause I found a good friend but I felt that she won’t finish the course. She won’t continue this process of learning with me. Unfortunately, I was right.
All in all I don’t have the reason to complain about my situation. I am on the right way to have a successful career. Even as a woman.