Airplane Pilot Portrait
Mental Health First Aider Sticker.png

Wendy

Peer Support Coach and Pilot

Airline Pilot Experience:

FO, SFO

Most Recent Aircraft Type:

Airbus

Training Route:

Modular ATPL

Aviation Specific Degree:

No

Languages:

English, Afrikaans

Location:

Germany

Additional Experience/Qualifications:

BSc Psychology and Statistics, MPhil Leadership and Coaching, MA Intercultural Management and Communication

Passions, Interests and Experience:

Coaching, Wellbeing, Peer Support, Pilot Competencies

Bio:

Hello, I’m Wendy. I worked in Education prior to learning to fly. Entering Aviation as an ‘older’ pilot meant I encountered a strange, unique, and often challenging work environment. My experiences led me to dedicate myself to finding different ways to make aviation much more ‘emotionally and psychologically safe’ for those of us who work in it.

I know how difficult it can be for us Aviators to speak about what we are experiencing and how it is impacting us. I know how challenging it can be to reach out and ask for support. Although Aviation is all about Safety and we talk of ‘safety’, the Ops environment is often anything but a safe environment for people. I want to ensure that it's safe for us to be human in our safety-critical workplace. Our wellbeing and health are important safety factors.

My value proposition is to support and encourage high-functioning individuals to develop their personal and professional potential. Integrating my passion for supporting people and with my love for flying, I trained as a coach and in cross-cultural studies. My flying experience was gained in South Africa, first flying charter and then 17 years as an Airline pilot on domestic and long-haul routes. As for many of us, Covid changed all that.

I believe in doing my own journey. This has led me to establish and run a peer support programme. I am an active participant in the IFALPA Pilot Assistance and Professional Pilot workgroups, and a pilot representative to the ICAO Mental Health Work Group. Our mental health and wellbeing is a ‘hot topic’ – highly important, thorny, long overlooked and deserving consideration.