MY STORY

My dream about becoming a commercial pilot started when I was very young. My dad has always been my role model and inspiration to pursue my dreams. For almost 20 years he flew long haul across the world, always taking me and my three sisters with him on his travels, I couldn’t think of a better way to see the world from such a young age – I fell in love with aviation and the world. Today he is a captain on the Airbus 320. My sisters and I grew up with the idea that everything is possible and that we could do what ever we desired in our lives, but you’d have to be willing to work hard, because truthfully very little in life has to do with luck.

2010, when I was 18 years old I was lucky enough to get accepted into the government funded aviation school in Sweden, Scandinavian Aviation Academy. That summer I flew solo for the first time in a single engine piston Cessna 172. When I was 20 years old I graduated from high school of the natural science program and was a proud owner of a commercial pilot license. I then moved back home to the south of Sweden, started working part time at the Swedish ATC (Air Traffic Control) Academy as a simulator pilot, while continuing my studies to become an airline pilot. Summer of 2014, I took my multi engine license, instrument rating, MCC course and ATPL theory. At that time I finally had completed all my aviation training and was now an owner of a frozen ATPL and could start applying for aviation jobs as a first officer. 

Less than a month after I completed my training I received the great news that I had been accepted into the cadet program for Ryanair, flying the Boeing 737-800 in the right seat as a first officer. After the intense few months of type rating in Amsterdam and London, I was allocated my first base, Palma de Mallorca in Spain. I was fortunate enough to live on this beautiful island for five months during my line training. The months spent on Mallorca quickly made me realize what I value in life and I decided I wanted to stay in Spain, as close to the ocean as possible. In October 2015 I was allocated my new permanent base, my new home Tenerife. The climate they have in the Canary Islands is like a perfect summer day in Sweden, just all year round. And I found myself as happy as I’ve ever been. Scandinavia and Sweden will always have my heart though, it’s the one place I get to call my home and where my beloved family lives. There’s nothing better than be able to go home for a few days after being away for some months, I just wish the weather was more like Tenerife-weather 😉

My dream has always been to fly long haul just like my dad used to. However, being based on Tenerife, with it’s long flights all over Europe, it’s kind of like working long haul. Today I work on a 5/4 schedule, which means I work for five days then have four days off, with no layovers. On a typical month I have between 7-12 working days, flying 75-100 hours a month. It’s perfect. This allows me to spend time doing all sorts of different things that I cherish in life. On my four days off from work I either go visit friends and family all over Europe, or I stay on my island where I go hiking, snorkeling with the turtles, kitesurfing in El Médano or hang by the pool enjoying the sun. I especially love the ocean and all kinds of water sports. 

Two of my best friends are also airline pilots, Malin Rydqvist is based in beautiful Croatia and Maria Pettersson is based on the equally beautiful island of Sicily. Today female pilots account for less than 6% of all airline commercial pilots in the world and personally I think that’s way too low of a percentage. Together we are each others cheerleading squad, always lifting each other up whenever we think that the world is too dark. There is too much negativity in the world, so this is a place for me where I try to inspire and keep up a good spirit. I think my job is serious enough so it’s important to smile as much as possible, whenever you find an opportunity. Through my social media accounts I’d like to share all my adventures with you and show that with the right mindset and hard work it’s possible to come a little bit closer to do the things that you desire in life. The same way my parents raised me and my sisters.

Med kärlek, 
Maria

 

14 thoughts on “MY STORY

  1. I have been following closly your Instagram account and blog for about a year, and I must say you truly are an amazing girl. I love your energy and passion in life. I allways wanted to become a pilot, but I was unfortunate about the 9/11 effect and didn’t have the guts to start training for the pilot licence. Do you ever fly to Torp, Sandefjord in Norway? That’s my home airport. I would love to hear from you!
    Best wishes from doctorgru (Instagram)

    1. Hi Geir! Thanks for you comment! I’m glad you like my Instagram and blog 🙂 We fly to Torp from Tenerife where I’m based, unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to fly there just yet but I’m sure it will pop up on my roster in the near future . All the best!

  2. Hej! Intressant att läsa hur du gjorde för att bli pilot! Roligt att se bilder och att du startat en blogg. Jag såg er live-sändning på insta och då nämnde ni att du var i Usa 1 år. Var det innan du började flyga?
    Mvh Anna

    1. Hej! Kul att du kollade vår live-sändning på Instagram 🙂 Jag var i USA innan jag bestämde mig för att bli pilot ett år som utbytesstudent i Ohio!

  3. A lovely story about how you got to where you are today. I’ve always loved aviation, it’s really cool to see more of what goes on for pilots. You’ll be a captain in no time 🙂

  4. Maria, You are such a positive person, full of great vibes. Personally, I have to say, that you are my inspiration, because since I remember my dream is to become a pilot. I wish You all the best and I’m waiting for next posts on your blog. 🙂
    Ida

  5. Hi Maria,
    Wile you spent mostly of your time in the air, you are such a beautiful, down to earth young woman! As you describe, I think you have one of the nicest job in the world.
    Cause of the fact that I’m working 20 years for KLM in the ITC I’ve got affinity with aviation and I can assure you that I’m a big fan of female pilots community. It’s great to see this community grow and it’s also great to see you enjoying your life!
    I love reading your blog and following you on Instagram. Just continue keeping us informed… it’s great to follow your adventures!
    Cheers,
    Adrian.

  6. Hola Maria,
    What an amazing success story, from ab initio to ATP rating. Like you I love to fly and I’m working toward that goal of one day flying my own airplane around the world. How nice that your government financed your flight training. But just curious, did you do any instructing to build hours? Does the "1500 hour Rule" applies in your part of the world to get in the cockpit? What was the most difficult part in your training? Thanks for sharing your inspirational story…btw the pictures are amazing.
    Un beso,
    Eugenio

  7. I think you can conaider being really lucky in life. Having an amaizng family, beautiful family house, growing up in a country considered one of the best in Europe to live in and also being so pretty. This also makes us who we are and not much we as ourselves can do about it. All the best to you!

  8. I love to read about your amazing experiences and dream about being in such a beautiful place. I live in Calgary Canada.

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