In Celebration of women’s HISTORY Month
Emilie, better known as Pilot Emilie, is a regional airline captain and content creator on YouTube. Pilot Emilie’s channel started as a Vlog, and after getting furloughed due to COVID-19’s impact on the aviation industry she dove headfirst into content creation and her channel. Emilie posts videos about her life adventures and shares her knowledge and perspective of the aviation industry. Over the past few months Emilie has introduced herself and her community to the world of Flight Simulation and as a result, has been creating videos using Microsoft Flight Simulator as a teaching platform.
“My goal was to highlight my career… to be able to share it with other younger viewers, or people who wanted to change their career. Show them what aviation is like, show them what the life of a pilot is like, show what it’s like for women in the industry or perhaps that it is possible to achieve those dreams.” -Emilie-
Recently, we had the privilege of sitting down with Pilot Emilie to learn more about her journey into Aviation. We learned about her transition from a massage therapist to a Regional Airline Captain on the Dash 8/Q400, and everything in between.
“My dad randomly suggested it to me. ‘Have you ever considered becoming a pilot?’ literally out the blue as I was looking.”
That suggestion was made over a decade ago and ever since then, Emilie has not looked back.
“The really cool thing with aviation and becoming a pilot and is that there is always something else you can work on. It is not stagnant. There is always a new aircraft you can learn, there is a new role or position. Maybe teaching different levels of students, there’s corporate, charter or even air ambulance. There’s so many possibilities that I saw for myself and I consider myself an eternal learner.”
“I love what I do.” Those words are clear but with every journey there are no doubt challenges that one must overcome. During our chat, we asked Emilie to name a few challenges that stood before her.
“It was smooth sailing at first- a supportive family and friend group. When I began the training and I start interacting with people that were at the airport [like] my flight instructors, airport personnel, air traffic control etc. That was the time that I started to feel like that I am sort of on my own because I was maybe 1 of 2 women or maybe 1 of 5 women I interacted with. They were flight instructors or working at dispatch compared to the 90 other men that I was interacting with.”
By the numbers: only 5.1% of the world’s commercial airline pilots are female and a mere 1.4% of Captains are female. In the Flight Simulation world, 0.9% of users identify as female per the Navigraph Community Survey.
“I wish I could have related to a woman that perhaps was further in her career and had some guidance and some coaching to say like ‘Hey, these are normal feelings, you will be treated differently,’ but this is not on purpose necessarily.”
Emilie hopes that her YouTube and Discord channels will become a resource for everyone, not just women, to connect, share and seek advice. Although Emilie is currently not flying in real life due to COVID-19, she is making the best of her time on the ground by building an incredible community with the goal to inspire others to find the same passion she did.
“Still to this day- I know that I belong in the air- as a pilot.”
We are grateful for the opportunity to speak with Emilie and are excited to announce that she will be joining our Twitch stream on Monday, March 8th at 12pm PST, 20:00 Zulu! After we concluded our session Emilie followed up with some additional resources for female aviators.