In conversation with Airplane Pilot

 
 

Original story here

In 2017, I developed anxiety about flying so I thought that it might be a smart move to have a chat with a first officer pilot to put me at ease. Elina and I had a call and we took off.

We spoke about what it was like to be up there in the sky, new musical instruments, such as a handpan, and our future dreams.

Tune in for the read and put this on while reading. :)

Home is where the family is - Elina

I enjoy life very much. Life is Beautiful! η ζωή είναι όμορφη

Go for your dreams:

A commercial pilot with a strong work ethic, highly motivated and ambitious. She is able to work effectively in a team and display effective decision making skills under pressure. Our connection was not much about what we spoke about but more on the exchange of energy. Her positivity. Her outlook. Her simplicity. Her charm. We both smiled because we experienced a connection that was so surprising, warm and simply humbling.

Being a pilot is very cool. How did you get into it?
It was always my dream. I’m living my dream every day. My dad is a pilot as well and we used to move a lot when I was a young girl. My lifestyle was always moving around.

What was your first encounter with the plane?
I flew for the first time when I was 15 and then I started my training when I was 18. What I love about it most is it gives me freedom. You take off and literally leave all the worries away. I love the feeling of flying. Constantly moving is something that boils within me.

What’s your lifestyle like?
I get monthly schedules. Tomorrow I’m flying from 11am till 11pm.
It’s a constant surprise. I couldn’t do the 9-5 job. It would be too boring.

My friends are used to it, but I’m very careful about making time to see them. They understand that flying is a big part of my life. We need to work at Christmas, holidays and Easter but I make an effort to spend time with them.

Is it healthy for you?
Long flights can mess up with your body, but it’s important to ensure that you stay healthy and adjust your biological clock to the location that you are going to. Get sleep! (We are bad at this, but it’s important.)

What’s the training like?
I love flying so much. I love being around the people who serve the same passion. The pilot’s license took me two years to gain.

What would you advise for nervous flyer?
Each person is different and has different strategies: Try to find what works for you. If you get to know a plane and learn the basics, you will know how safe it is. Everyone knows the statistics but the crew is very well trained. Pilots are as well. We go through heavy training with simulator flying twice per year.

Other suggestions: Bring music, do breathing exercises, bring movies or a TV series to watch.

Do you go on autopilot just when you are up?
Yes, it reduces our workload and allows us to focus on other elements, for example, reviewing the weather and avoiding things. Turbulence is just air masses within different speed.

Are there pilot celebrities that you would like to fly with ie. Sully?
😃 I do have people that I respect and would like to learn from but we don’t really have pilot celebrities. I like to fly with people who are calm and look up to them to see how they deal with situations. The ‘human’ factor to me is very important.

Do you have role models?
I look up to my dad. He flies. It was his dream.

What are main challenges in your profession?
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and life. I was allowed to choose what I want. I was very free and never felt restricted or unwelcome. I always wanted to prove that I wanted to be the best at what I do. Anybody can be what they want. Gender neutral roles. Why can’t males be nurses? In Greece, we have equal pay.

Would you have a family one day?
Maybe! Never had it as a goal, but if I met the right person then we shall see.

Will they fly with you?
Sure 😃 !

What are your values?
I value my loved ones daily, treating everyone equally and with kindness, listen to one another, always follow your dreams, be true to yourself, speak your mind/don’t be afraid, be honest and always follow your dreams.

What’s your dream for your career?
Keep flying. Try different things, but to keep my dreams of flying alive.

How do you stay healthy?

  • Excercise.

  • I eat well: I’m vegetarian and I’m conscious about the food I put into my body.

  • Meditation and yoga.

  • Mostly music!

  • I value alone time. It’s great!

Hobby?
Playing guitar and handspan!

Writers that warm your heart?
A few authors that I enjoy reading are:
- Yalom(When Nietzsche Wept, The Schopenhauer Cure)
- Paulo Coelho
- Jorge Bucay
- Nicholas Sparks
- John Green

Music that brings you peace?

  • Angus & Julia

  • Kodaline “High Hopes”, “All I want”

  • Sleeping at last “Saturn”

What was the most amazing place you have seen?
Brazil — people, nature
Vancouver — totally different from Greece.
Multicultural things about these countries that I like - there is no racism.

What’s on your bucket list?

  • Travel and see the world while having enough money $ to do so.

  • Today I applied to volunteer in musical therapy. I want to start doing seminars and helping others.

Do you have your own plane?
Not yet 😉 I need to get permission, what routes we will travel, and the weather reports. In Greece, there are many military professionals and a few areas that need to be avoided.

And then… Elina asked — Whats your dream?

Elina asked me what my dream was. I said to be the next Oprah of modern times. She smiled and said ‘whoa’ in the most genuine way.

Thank you, Instagram, for connecting us!

ευχαριστώ

Thank you for being part of my journey, Elina! See you in Athens for a cup of coffee in the cockpit ;) #grateful