Operating an airplane is a man’s duty: pilot

09 Mar 2016 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 09 MAR (NAMPA) – Women should ignore the perception by some people that operating an airplane is a man’s duty.
“It’s 50-50; we can do it too. I have done it, so there are many other women who are capable of doing it too,” said Belinda Hoebes, a commercial pilot.
She was speaking on the sidelines of International Women’s Day celebrations in the capital on Tuesday, when the Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) honoured 15 Namibian female aviators and cabin crew members with gifts.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on 08 March every year.
For Hoebes, 22, obtaining her Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is not the end of her career.
“My dream is to go far and beyond. Firstly I would like to get enough hours so that one day I actually end up with Air Namibia and become a captain - hopefully,” she told Nampa.
She remembers her first solo flight as extremely breath-taking, adding that it’s something she will never forget.
Like Hoebes, Megan Carweu, 23, also obtained her CPL with 43 Air School in South Africa last year through a bursary by the MWT.
Carweu said “failure for a pilot could be fatal”, but that did not deter her from completing her studies.
Her words of motivation to other women are to “listen to yourself”.
“The most important thing in life today is to not listen to what other people say; one needs to listen to the positive voice inside and motivate oneself - at times it’s not easy, but then so is the route to success,” she said.
At the occasion, Works and Transport Minister, Alpheus !Naruseb, said women personnel licence holders on the ministry’s Licensing Register represents a “fair number”.
“For example, out of a total of 2 000 pilots, roughly 50 are women” he added.
The same imbalance exists with respect to aircraft maintenance engineers.
“I understand that of a total of 450 registered aircraft maintenance engineers, a mere 10 per cent are women. I am, however, in general very pleased with your notable achievements and can say Namibia is, to a certain degree, doing fairly well,” the minister stated.
The training and development of aviation officials needs are many, according to the MWT, and requires a joint effort from all industries, training institutions, commercial banks as well as development partners.