Hello, the captain of the ship Maria is speaking to you … "- when Maria Uvarovskaya says these words, welcoming passengers on board the medium-haul airliner Airbus A-320 or A-321, her voice sounds convincing and completely dispels the idea that passenger airliners are piloted exclusively by men … In Russia, by the way, there are more than three dozen female pilots. Specifically, Aeroflot has 25, but only four of them are aircraft commanders. For comparison, there are more than a thousand FAC men. Maria received this title three years ago, after 2500 flight hours - this is about 360 flights Moscow-Paris-Moscow.
“A woman pilot always remains an object of increased attention in all countries, it is unusual and beautiful,” says Maria. - Accordingly, airlines that have female pilots in their staff are also objects of attention of passengers. In America and Europe, about 20-30% of the total number of women pilots fly liners. Our ratio is much smaller, but it's only a matter of time …"
I perceive belonging to a "male" activity as a compliment to my femininity
The path from co-pilot to commander is about two to three years of regular flights and a voluminous theoretical test in many disciplines, tests on a simulator that completely simulates the behavior of an aircraft, and real flights with an instructor. “The culmination is an independent flight as a commander. This is a big holiday, even more than a birthday - this happens only once in a lifetime. I remember this day well: December 25, 2013, excellent weather, morning flight to Berlin …"
The question about fear and stress confuses Maria for a while. She explains: “We do not experience fear, which can cause panic. And stress is always manageable. How else? There are passengers on board, and it is necessary to complete the flight so that all safety standards and rules are observed."
In America and Europe, about 20-30% of the total number of women pilots fly liners. Our ratio is much less
Male environment - male rules? Maria claims that she manages to create a normal and calm atmosphere in the carriage. “I perceive belonging to a“male”activity as a compliment to my femininity. Perhaps at first my male colleagues felt uncomfortable and anxious, but as soon as we got down to work, it became clear how competent I was. Knowledge and experience are the only path to authority. My crew is a co-pilot and a crew of flight attendants, only 5-7 people. Small but team. And the success of the flight depends on the mood of everyone. Therefore, it is important to create a good mood.
In addition, it often happens that we get to know each other an hour before the flight. Humor helps to arrange colleagues and prevent possible tension in the team. " And you don't need to go far for him. Maria tells with a smile how often she is mistaken for a flight attendant, a specialist in the transportation department, or, in extreme cases, an assistant commander, but in no way is she perceived as a commander. All this causes her no more than irony in relation to herself.
Does the profession interfere with your personal life? “It is difficult for weak men with strong women and vice versa,” Maria smiles. - One cannot but agree with this. Apparently, the strong ones surround me …"
Photo: personal archive, archives of press services, Instagram
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