MEDICINE HAT – Super T Aviation is hoping to get more women interested in a career in aviation.
The flight school is offering free 15 minute flights around Medicine Hat all week for women who may be interested in becoming a pilot.
“It’s definitely a male-dominated industry and we just want to show girls that it’s totally possible and there [are] no barriers,” said Larissa Lindsay, dispatcher and pilot at Super T.
A report from the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace, suggests over the industry will need an additional 7,300 pilots by 2025. Canada is producing approximately 600 new Canadian commercial pilots each year. It's believed seven per cent of pilots are female.
Lindsay says it presents a good opportunity for future employment, but it takes a lot of work to get there.
She said it normally takes one to two years to obtain your private pilot license.
“You start with ground school, which is kind of the classroom session where you learn about meteorology, navigation, air law and general aeronautics,” Lindsay explained.
“Then you start doing your flight training and you go up with an instructor. Then, once you get more competent with the controls, they send you solo and then the first step would be getting your private pilot license.”
Obtaining commercial license takes longer, with a required 200 hours of flight time. The cost of obtaining both licenses is upwards of $30,000.
For Larissa the cost is worth it, and she has some big dreams when it comes to her future as a pilot.
“It’s an adventure and it’s different every time and it’s just so out of the ordinary compared to any other job,” she said.
“I want to be an airline pilot or maybe a float plane pilot. I got my float plane rating last year so I kind of fell in love with that, but I’d be happy with any type of job, I love flying.”
Amy and her daughter Emiko Warren went on one of the free flights Monday. Amy said she always had an interest in aviation and wanted her daughter to experience what it was like flying a plane.
“She had mentioned it once before, something about being a pilot and I thought, oh this is the greatest opportunity, so I wanted to bring her here today to try that,” said Amy. “I’ve always wanted to be in aviation, so I thought it would be a great thing for me too.”
It was Emiko’s first time flying and her first experience being in a plane.
“It was breathtaking and everything looked so small,” she said. “It was, I’m just going to say it, awesome!”
There are still some flight spots available. Women interested in going can contact Super T Aviation by calling 403-548-6636.**This story has een updated to reflect new numbers and data on the need for pilots provided by the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace.
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