South Africa 8.8.2018 06:45 am

Noni’s flying high at controls of jumbo jet

British Airways first officer Noni Radebe. Picture: Supplied

British Airways first officer Noni Radebe. Picture: Supplied

As one of SA few female commercial airline pilots, Noni Radebe is also one of a select few flying the Boeing 777.

British Airways first officer Noni Radebe is a groundbreaker in a field where few women have made their mark.

Radebe said her choice to venture into aviation was inspired at a young age and took flight right after high school.

“I always had an interest in flying aeroplanes,” she said. “But my curiosity grew when I listened to a pilot speaking on radio about his career … that is when I really started researching about it.

“I started studying towards becoming a pilot straight after matric and I am still amazed. When I started reading more about aviation and careers in the airline industry, there was just no other option.

“I had already applied for studies in the financial/accounting field, but I soon realised after doing some job shadowing that it was not for me. That is when I started entertaining the idea of my then fantasy of being a pilot flying high in the sky.

“And with confidence, I can say that the fantasy is now reality.”

As one of South Africa’s few female commercial airline pilots, Radebe is also one of a select few flying the Boeing 777, something she says came about sooner than she had thought.

“Last year, I began working for Comair, which flies kulula and British Airways, operated by Comair,” she said. “When Captain Sean Pepper called to say I got the job, I remember thinking: the dream was not so far-fetched, because now I am flying Boeings.”

Radebe’s advice to young women: “There is no dream that is beyond your reach. Learning to be a professional pilot takes a lot of time and dedication … give it your best shot and remember to enjoy it always.”

Citizen reporter

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

 

The Citizen Trail Run 2018

today in print