Female pilot becomes youngest captain of Colombian Airline

CCTV News

Female pilot becomes youngest captain of Colombian Airline2

It has been more than 100 years since Therese Peltier from France became the first woman to pilot an aircraft.

Since then, many women have entered the aviation industry, but overall, their numbers remain small compared to men. Women represent only about 6 percent of the total world pilot population.

In Colombia, one woman is not only breaking those gender barriers, but has also become the youngest captain at Colombia’s Avianca Airline.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports.

Female pilot becomes youngest captain of Colombian Airline

Female pilot becomes youngest captain of Colombian Airline

It has been more than 100 years since Therese Peltier from France became the first woman to pilot an aircraft. Since then, many women have entered the aviation industry, but overall, their numbers remain small compared to men. Women represent only about six percent of the total world pilot population. In Colombia, one woman is not only breaking those gender barriers, but has also become the youngest Captain at Colombia’s Avianca Airline.

Colombian Liney Lozano said she was just 14 years old when she decided she wanted to be a commercial airline pilot.

Her family supported her, and by age 22, she had accumulated the 200 hours of flight school required to graduate as a pilot.

“The feeling of flying solo is incomparable to anything else. You only do it in flight school, because when you start working at an airline you always have a copilot, so it is simply unforgettable,” she said.

But becoming a pilot is far from the average career path for little girls in Colombia, a country where gender stereotypes are common and beauty pageants outnumber those held just about anywhere else in the world.

Lozano, the youngest of seven sisters, said she inherited an independent streak from her mother, who taught her by example not to succumb to a male dominated society.

In November 2015, Lozano accomplished what she set out to do she became Avianca Airlines youngest pilot captain at age 27.

According to the Colombian Association of Civil Aviators, women make up less than 4 percent of the country’s total pilots.

Lozano said it’s important to show Colombian girls they can reach beyond dreams of becoming a star through beauty pageants. Instead, she said she encourages them to see that the sky’s the limit.