Female Pilot

What It Is Like To Be A Female Pilot

Am I being treated differently because I am a female pilot? Or did I ever had to prove myself because I am a girl in a men’s world? As a female airline pilot, I will share my thoughts and experience regarding this subject. For all the girls out there, keep reading!

What I did before I became a female pilot

At the age of 16 I entered the fourth year of high school. During that year you have to choose a career path. For some it’s easy and clear, for me, it wasn’t. I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do when I grew up so I decided to go for the safest option, not the easiest. In the Netherlands they call this curriculum “Nature & Technique”.  Science, Physics & Mathematics are just some of the subjects within this “package”. I was also taught the English language, you should too! Here’s why.

Why I didn’t consider a pilot job

Boys are more likely to spend their afternoon watching airplanes while girls prefer to go shopping with their mom’s… At least I did. I guess girls are just less likely to get exposed to aviation. I never thought about becoming a pilot for example. When I was 15 years old, I did not think outside the box and only considered professions which were safe and generally accepted by the society. I know way better now haha…

What makes me so special?

Why on earth would I be able to become an airline pilot? There are so many guys out there that basically grew up at airports. Spending their free time reading aviation magazines. Soaring through the skies in a glider on Sundays. What chance do I have compared to them? I never even considered to become a female pilot. I had no background knowledge and no relative or friend that could tell me more about the profession. So, I had to do my own research and this is actually how I became interested in aviation.

My passion for flying began right at that moment. I visited flight schools and simply knew that this was going to be it, this was going to be my thing…  and I was right! 😉 Luckily, my parents always supported me, they were happy to see I finally found something which I was enthusiastic about. The excitement from their side decreased, a bit, when I told them about the expenses, the required loan and the risks… You can read more about the costs of a flight school here.

Oh look, a flight attendant!

I have never had a negative experience with passengers. Most of the time they are surprised (in a positive way) when they see that I am sitting in the front. Passengers regularly ask me how old I am, if their daughters can come to view the cockpit and I even had one flight during which our passengers were cheering my name after the landing. I guess that happened because I am a girl haha.

While walking through the airport in uniform, I hear people say ‘Oh look another flight attendant’, while others whisper ‘look a female pilot!’. In Europe female pilots are becoming more common, it’s very normal for women to fly. However, I am aware that in some parts of the world it is less common, unfortunately. Don’t let that stop you though!

Shouldn’t you be cleaning the house?

Can you actually fly an airplane? Can you land an airplane? Do you work as an airline pilot?! I had to prove myself a couple of times in the past, especially towards people outside the aviation industry. I also received comments like, so tell me about your job as a flight attendant or shouldn’t you be cleaning the house? Nothing I couldn’t handle or felt bad about. I just feel it is worth mentioning that not everyone is as open minded as you would expect nowadays. It shows that being a female pilot is still a bit special.

Working in a men’s world

Working with my male colleagues is absolutely amazing. The captains I fly with are all incredibly kind and most of them I actually consider to be my friends. Of course there are dirty jokes now and then, chats about women, beer and all that. I am definitely not afraid to laugh about it and sometimes I even make it worse 🙂 By flying with men I developed myself further. I think women and men can learn from each other in the way they communicate.

Everything is possible, as long as you are willing to work for it!

Through my Youtube Channel, Instagram account and website I try to show the world that women can do and achieve whatever they want to achieve. You don’t need to look or act like a guy in order to become an airline pilot. Definitely don’t listen to people that tell you there’s a small chance that you will achieve your goal, no one needs that negativity in their lives. I want to stress that men & women have equal chances in a modern society. I am grateful everyday for being able to sit in that right seat. Something you can accomplish as well. Start by finding yourself a good flight school, good luck!

35 thoughts on “What It Is Like To Be A Female Pilot

  1. Hi, I’m a 15 year old girl living in the netherlands, I’m in my 3rd year of vwo and I’d like to become a pilot. I will be picking my specialized subject at the end of the year. I want to go to school over seas but my father doesn’t really agree. ? I heard klm flight academy was good but u mentioned that flight schools in the Netherlands were not good. Is klm a good school? Please give me some advice. Is becoming a pilot a good idea? I heard the amount of pilots are increasing and that many are having trouble finding jobs because of this. I think I can do it, but it’s all so complicated.

  2. Hi Michelle, most pilots go thru hell to became pilots and i know you did too. Just dont allow anybody to be a jerk with you ou anybody around you. All pilots do work very hard to become pilots and takes time to earn enough money to pay back all the investement. You guys deserve all the respect. My best to you and safe fligths.
    P.s. We do miss your youtube videos

  3. Hi your such an inspiration I love your YouTube videos and your so pretty keep shining for the stars ?

  4. hey Michelle
    I am a 16 year old girl who wants to become a pilot also. Im still in high School, and I don’t know what the first step I should take to reach my goal. I’d really appreciated if you will replied to me and hand me some suggestion. Thank you

  5. Hi Michelle a.k.a Dutch Pilot Girl,

    When I was like 12 years old (I’m 22 now) I contemplated on becoming a pilot, however, by the time I was 14 I found a different passion, and I stuck to that path! Don’t get me wrong; I love what I’m currently doing in my life, but sometimes I wonder how things might have been had I decided to become a pilot 🙂

    I travel 16 hour long routes between Asia and United States multiple times a year, and I have always marveled how long-haul pilots do not loose their minds traveling long-haul all the time! (I know you have extra crews and stuff…)

    Immense respect to you! You are an inspiration, not just for women, but also for men like me.

    I really love your channel! I watch it regularly on YouTube. Keep up the excellent work! Keep more videos coming!

    Have a long, safe career!

  6. I’m happy that you experienced good things as a female pilot and the job makes you fun.

    I was getting so sad when I readed the YouTube Comments ? just based on your look they judge you that you should not be a pilot. Don’t get me wrong: You are absolutely beautiful! Why should a stunning Lady not be a pilot? Some people are simply so narrow minded!

    As long someone makes a good job and even does that job with passion the gender simply doesn’t matter. I would ask those people: If a plane is in trouble and about to go down, would they let you take the controls or an unexperienced man without any aviation skills? Wouldn’t they also allow a female doctor to save them if they have a heart attack? The answer on this question shows that skill has nothing to do with gender.

    You don’t know me but I wish that you can go (or fly) your way without experience even more of those douches! ❤️

  7. 1) How long does it take to be a pilot? (Training school + theoretical classes + practical classes)
    2) Did you practice and take dlr test?
    3) I have always heard that pilots do not have a family life, is it true?

  8. I’m from sri lanka. I very love your dutch pilot gir youtube channel and captain joe’s channel.I never miss your vedeo.

      1. Thanks for reply.I want to know if future aircraft installed fully automatic takeoff and landing system is it threat to the future pilots?

  9. Wordt je tegenwoordig bij sollicitaties als vrouw positief ‘gediscrimineerd’ omdat airlines graag meer vrouwen willen hebben?

    1. Hallo Annemieke, Dat zou kunnen maar dat heb ik nog nooit zo ervaren. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat de kansen voor iedere piloot hetzelfde zijn. Ongeacht geslacht 🙂

  10. and Michelle as you live now in Milan can you tell me about any good flight school there?and if you know some bank (throught your copilots) who lend money for pilot training? I’m 18 now and am searching for a bank who can lend me money for pilot training and searching for a flight schools (all the flight schools near me are in Milan). Lots of love. Keep shining in the sky, i just hope that someday i’ll also be up there like you.
    ( Is there any chance to meet you? I would be honored and you’ll make my life absolutly perfect)

  11. Hey Michelle, i’m from Brescia (just an hour from Milan) and i have been following you since a year now on instagram and youtube. You’re an inspiration to me, you can’t believe how terribly i want to become a pilot after finding you account on instagram. I should tell you that i’ve glot two inspirations in the aviation world on Instagram: you and pilot Maria, and last week you guys made me so happy that i jumped outside my bed to show it to my sister. I could see you both in the same picture (God!!).You’re doing a great job by explening our doubts, it’s very generous from your side. And your videos on Youtube are like drug to me so please make sure to upload so many specially videos where we can see you flying. Lots of love from Ringza

    1. Hahah thank you for your kind words Ringza! I appreciate it 🙂

      Unfortunately I just moved to Milan recently and I only stay there when I need to work. Hence, I don’t know any flight schools in the area. The best thing to do is to get in touch with the local flight schools, ask them for ways to finance your training. Perhaps they can hook you up with a bank that provides loans for pilots.

      Make sure you take a look at my eBook as well. In your case I guess it will be extremely helpful.

      Good luck with your training Ringza! Michelle

  12. I love your story Michelle ❤.I had the same passion and dream to be a pilot but unfortunately situations sometimes don’t allow us. The expenses of joining a flight school are too high. I hope that I might find an organization someday that will be willing to sponsor me through the school.I am just 18 and clueless about what to do next since my dream is shutted.Go girl ?.Live ?.Laugh?.Fly✈.
    I hope someday I’ll be up there like you. I love you. ?

    1. There’s allot of sponsorship for flight school depending on where you live at drop you country or city where you live at and am send you links to apply for those sponsorships

        1. Hi! I am not aware of any sponsored programs in Kenya but make sure to check out the program at Singapore Airlines. You can find it here!. Perhaps that might be your golden ticket 😉

  13. It’s been awesome following you on YouTube and Instagram. You’re living my dream that I passed up on. Life and responsibilities got in the way for me but it sure has been fun riding along with you. Best of luck in the future, and can’t wait to see you in the left seat!!

  14. Hello Michelle ; God bless You. And about your article let me share my comments with You. Of course Female gender is being looked different at many Jobs. Beside I support Ladies may achieve to do many jobs and be successful at most of the jobs just like Men can do. Ofocurse the most important thing is self confidence and working on it willingly. You know if You beleive in something it will happen real. There is also a proverb in Turkish. And it is ; Believing in something is the half way of being successful.

    Secondly ; In general When You look at the period of childhood. The treatment to a boy and to a girl is different by their own parents. You know for instance ; The parents give Toy Cars ,Toy Guns ,Toy Planes to the boys to play with as gift. Beside Parents and people give dolls , Cooking and washing shortly housework toys to play with to the girls. This way starts to influence and establish interest on children differently. Boys dream and prefer other professions and Girls think and dreams other professions. I think Childhood is the most important age of a person.

    Moreover ; Life conditions push girls and influence on Fashion and make Up ( For instance Tv series, Celebrity pages on Social Media websites ) When They are teenager. If they don’t interest Fashion,Make Up, Musis and the best known basic Categories than They are excluded by the other girls among the youth group or from their social environment. So If a Girl chooses different social areas than her female friends. She would be excluded and left and become Alone.

    All these are barriers or challenges for Women in public. Kindly Regards to You. Good Luck to You. You really make useful blogs for people. Thank You.

    Yours Sincerely

    Gültekin COŞAR

    İzmir / Turkey

  15. Mooie story en ik kan me alle vooroordelen die je bent tegen gekomen goed voorstellen. Nog beter is dat je je er niets van hebt aangetrokken en kijk waar je nu bent (aan) geland. Zeker geen ILS-approach maar met handmatig besturing en een flinke zijwind heb je toch jouw carrière-toestel veilig geland. Ik hoop dat jij me een keer naar mijn bestemming vliegt. ??

  16. Inspiring stuff to us all, hopefully in my next life I’ll get the flight school thing going sooner than later ? for now I’ll have to be content with Prepar3D simulator ?
    Keep up the great work you are doing online, luv your stuff????

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