B777 Captain and SFI
Falcon 50/900. Falcon 7X
Current location: Cannes, France
Most recent airline: Emirates (until 2020)
Previous airlines: EurofliteLltd and Air Alsie A/S
Previous and Additional roles:
Trainer/ SFI FA50/900 at FlightSafety International, Falcon 7x at CAE, B-777 at Emirates Airline, MCCI Air Arabia/ Alpha Aviation.
Owner and director, Wolston Sky FZE (UAE) and KTConsultancy (France)
Crew Resource Management Trainer, Mental Health First Aider, Co-founder and Past President of Concorde Chapter and co-founder and Vice President of Middle East Chapter of Women in Aviation International.
Mother of three (16, 16 and 9-year-olds).
Uni degree: Business
Languages: Conversational French, Finnish. Basic Spanish, German, Danish and Swedish
Airline training route: Integrated ATPL
Why did you want to become a pilot?
I grew up in Spain and Scandinavia and travelled a lot with my parents. Those days you could still visit the flight deck, which was always the highlight of the flight. My dream job was to become a flight attendant as at that time; I was not aware girls could become pilots.
Later, I was studying history in California when a friend of mine took me up in a C-152. That was it!
I was fascinated about the beauty and freedom of flight from my first Cessna ride onwards and wanted aviation to become my future, which it has been for over 25-years. It is a passion that will never die.
Was training a breeze or did you find it a challenge?
Parts of the initial training were challenging. I was 18 years old when I started my CPL and wanted to fly and have fun and not study topics like aerodynamics or navigation. Flying was fun, ground school not so much, so at times I had a lot of catching up to do. But when you are motivated to achieve your goals, you overcome challenges. Also, helicopter handling was initially challenging, but I soon got used to it, and the rest of the CPL-H was a breeze.
What was most challenging?
It was challenging as a teenager living and studying on the other side of the world without family and close friends. Also, after completing my Professional Pilot Program, finding my first job as a CFI. My heart was set on California (I did my training in South Carolina) and arrived on the west coast with little money in my pocket and no place to go. I was fortunate to meet the right people in Los Angeles and quickly build up my support network.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
As a trainer I enjoy bringing the best out of my trainees and watch them grow and succeed. As a pilot: meeting and working with different people and visiting places you normally would not see. This is especially true in business aviation.
What is most challenging about your job?
As a trainer: finding the correct balance of remedial training if a pilot is struggling in training can be a challenge considering the person, the company, time available etc. Also, I have had to make some difficult decisions that directly affect a person’s career. Thankfully, only a very few times during my 16-year career as a trainer.
As a pilot: flying into challenging airfields especially on evacuation flights into Siberia and Greenland without proper charts, lousy weather, Russian navigators sometimes barely speaking English into airports where ATC does not speak English.
Also, long duty hours, early flying or training shifts and being away from my three children are challenging.
Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you and why?
All the competencies are of interest to me. However, if I have to pick one, I would say Communication as it ties into all other competencies.
I have co-founded two Women in Aviation Chapters, one in the UK (the Concorde Chapter), the first European Chapter and the other in the UAE (the Middle East Chapter), the first WAI Chapter in the Middle East. We provide networking, education, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for individuals striving for careers in the aviation and aerospace industries.
I am an empathetic, trustworthy and enthusiastic individual very keen on helping my peers wherever I can. With my long aviation career, I can assist pilots in training, career path, peer support, mental health etc.