Saluting Malaysia's female pilots

Published by Afterschool.my on Jul 02, 2015, 10:49 am

Around the world only 4,000 of the 130,000 airline pilots are women, according to an estimate by The International Society of Women Airline Pilots.

AirAsia is amongst the few airlines in Asia employing the highest number of female pilots, while MAS has never recruited female pilots (except via its subsidiary, FireFly).

Views on gender roles in society have evolved, enabling women to excel in what was once the bastion of male dominated careers with the airline industry being no different.

Captain Stephen Michael Terry who is also the principal of an academy for aspiring Malaysian pilots said that it is time for more young women to realise that the job responsibilities on an aircraft are not defined by gender and that they can become anything they aspire to be.

We salute the Malaysian women who are gracing the international skies as pilots:

 1. Captain Norashikin OnnFirst female commercial pilot in Malaysia

norashikin onn

I get great satisfaction from being a pilot and a female at that too! I get a First Class window seat each time I report to duty and get to see the world every time I fly. Not only do I want to be on par with my male colleagues, I want to be better than them.

2. Captain Patricia Yapp Syau YinWorld's first ever woman to become a qualified MiG-29 fighter pilot

patricia yapp

My parents, especially my father, didn't approve. They were sceptical of a woman wanting to be a fighter pilot. They thought it was not a suitable job for a woman. After looking at my achievements in this field, they finally turned around and I know they couldn't be happier.

3. First Officer Nur Moana IshakOne of the first female commercial airline pilots in Malaysia

nur moana

I've never been a straight-A student, and my size did bother me for a while. Often when I meet people and tell them I work with AirAsia, they immediately respond, "Stewardess?" I’d tell them "No, I fly the aircraft".

4. First Officer Melissa NathanA pilot since 2007, trained as an engineer working on flight simulators

melissa nathan

I have always loved physics, but never had an interest in aircraft as a child. I graduated with a diploma in aeronautical engineering and I believe there isn't any particular industry that is gender specific.

5. First Officer Zephina KhanamArts background with very little exposure to aviation industry

zephina kanam

I was an Arts student and everyone doubted me for wanting to become a pilot. Now I get to inspire young women who want to be pilots when they grow up, and that makes my day.

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