Air travel Travel Info & Reviews

Women in Aviation – Interview with a Licensed Commercial Pilot

How difficult is it for women in aviation in 2024? What obstacles are they facing in this male-dominated field? This week we are back with another interview. I interview Aamirah, a licensed private pilot based in Atlanta, U.S.A.


Q: Can you please introduce yourself. What made you want to become a pilot? What type of aircraft do you fly?

My name is Aamirah, and I am a former flight attendant for a major U.S Airline. In my five years of working as an FA, I never had a pilot that looked like me up in the flight deck. I know the importance of representation, so I wanted to be a part of the change towards a more diverse future flight deck.

I decided to start flying lessons when the global pandemic hit in 2020, when the demand to travel significantly decreased, and I was offered the opportunity to take a leave of absence from work. I decided to get as many ratings as possible during my 6-month leave, and I became a commercially licensed pilot with my multi-engine and instrument add-on ratings in that time period. 

In 2021, I was accepted into a competitive program that allowed employees the unique opportunity to achieve the rest of their pilot requirements and return back to the company as an airline pilot upon successful completion of the program. In 2022, I started my leave of absence, and I became a flight instructor. I started working towards my airline minimum hour requirements (which are 1500 hours in the U.S.), and I taught students for over a year in the Cessna Skyhawk 172S models. I now fly Learjets for an air medical ambulance company and I’m so excited to fly my first jet! 

Q: What are your favorite things about being a pilot? Why?

There are so many things I love about being a pilot, but one thing I love is the dynamic challenge that being a pilot presents; every flight is incredibly unique and that makes the career so enriching. One day I may be flying out of sunny California, or along the beautiful Gulf coast of Florida, or flying over the mountains of Tennessee or into ATL, the busiest airport in the world – each carrying different passengers with different needs through different weather challenges. It makes each day so incredibly unique, and I love that I get to live each day differently from another. I get to call the amazing aerial views from up above my office, and that never gets old! 

Q: What is the hardest thing about becoming a pilot? How were you able to overcome this?

There are a lot of challenges that come with pursuing such a unique career as there is not a ‘one size fits all way’ to accomplishing this goal, but I’d say the biggest challenge to me is overcoming your own personal doubts and fears. They naturally come up when learning something new, and with the diverse nature of this skillset, every day is different. You may nail your landings one day, and then the winds are so strong that you can’t seem to nail them the next day.

The best way to overcome the doubts, is to simply keep going, and become more knowledgeable by studying the necessary topics such as weather theory, aerodynamics, airspace, etc. I also learned the importance of consistency as I flew 3-4 times a week when I first started taking flight lessons. The more consistent I was, the more I was able to retain and that helped me gain a lot of confidence in myself and skillset. 

Q: What advice would you give to young girls looking to join the aviation industry? 

The aviation industry is so vast; you can be a pilot, mechanic, flight attendant, air traffic controller and so much more. In particular, women make up a small percentage of pilots, less than 7% worldwide, and it is a great time to enter this amazing career field.  You are more than capable of doing whatever you decide to do in life.

Walk in every room with your head held high and know that you deserve to be there just like anyone else. You can achieve anything you decide to do; just keep believing in yourself. And always remember an airplane recognizes skill, not your gender or cultural background so just focus on increasing your skill set and you’ll be flying in the sky in no time!


Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your love of aviation?

My love of aviation has connected me with so many across the globe. I have traveled to over 35 countries and 30 states, and the more places you go, the more you learn how we are all the same. I find traveling so contagious and incredibly important for humankind, as the more we connect, the less separate we feel from one another. Traveling also taps into my adventurous nature, and it is so healing to explore and create.

Some of my favorite travel memories have been riding a hot air balloon over the ancient pyramids in Mexico City, ziplining in Costa Rica, snorkeling with sea turtles in Bonaire, hiking up a volcano in Greece, soaking in a geothermal spa in Iceland, eating gelato in Italy and so much more. I have been able to share my passion for travel with my friends and family, and I look forward to experiencing all of the other places around the world!

I hope to inspire more women of color to explore aviation as a hobby or career by sharing my journey online! Let’s connect!

Connect with Aamirah here:




All images courtesy of Aamirah Juncke.

If you’re looking for more stories about women in aviation, checkout my interview with Blessing, a flight attendant in Nigeria.

Leave a Reply