Inspiration

Soaring the Blue Skies

Commercial Pilot Amen Aamir shares her passion of conquering the sky
Istill remember the time when I was asked what I wanted to become when I grew up. For as far back as I can remember, it had been crystal clear to me that I always wanted to be an aviator. I believe that when you truly love something, with time, your love becomes your passion, and that is exactly what I have experienced. My love for aviation and airplanes grew day-by-day and despite the challenges and hurdles, I knew I was going to be a pilot; Allah has been so kind that today I am living my dream. I am Amen Aamir, a girl hailing from a small town called Skardu, in Gilgit-Baltisitan, and here I am sharing my story.



Whenever I hold a pen to write about my experience of the past three to four years, my face lights up. For me an aircraft looks like a bird, only more majestic and elegant, and I am in a state of awe every time an aircraft is about to takeoff: head bent forward, wings spread sideways, its monstrous size molded into absolute beauty through sheer human intelligence and will.


My first flight is something I will never forget: the plane started accelerating, gaining great momentum in a matter of seconds and after achieving the required speed, it took off the ground and started ascending until the required altitude was gained. I experienced a gush of different feelings rushing to my mind in those few seconds, each one more powerful than the other. I felt a liberating sensation; every problem of life looked so far away and so tiny. I felt powerful, which was a consequence of control over this huge machine.


I studied in different schools of Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan: Khaplu, Hunza and Skardu. The schools I attended, spanned not just provinces but also countries, with Canada on the list, but one thing that remained constant was that my passion for flying continued to be on the ascent during all those years.
This passion had driven me to opt for Mathematics instead of Biology, incurring the temporary displeasure of my mother but paving the way for a lifetime dedication to flying as a career. My mother had relented to the idea after a little while. My father on the other hand, supported and encouraged me to follow my dream. So I strived to do what I believed in, oblivious to the fact that I was a girl and that no Balti girl had ever walked this path before. All the subsequent challenges, disappointments and struggles, I bore with the conviction that my parents had total faith in me and this made me strong and inspired me to never back off.
Is the experience as beautiful from the inside as it looks from the outside? Is the control over such a beast of a machine overwhelming? These questions occupied my thoughts throughout my childhood. However, it was only when I was sitting in the cockpit with my instructor for the first time, my first day of flying, for which I had waited for so long, that all my questions were answered. An obsession I had pursued since childhood — to experience the cockpit — had become a reality. 
My first flight is something I will never forget; the plane started accelerating, gaining great momentum in a matter of seconds and after achieving the required speed, it took off the ground and started ascending until the required altitude was gained. I experienced a gush of different feelings rushing to my mind in those few seconds, each one more powerful than the other. I felt a liberating sensation; every problem of life looked so far away and so tiny. I felt powerful, which was a consequence of control over this huge machine. I felt exhilaration and thrill. I felt joy after taking in such a breathtaking view. And, on top of it all was a blinding sense of happiness in knowing that I had stuck out till the end to experience the greatest moment of my life. In that moment, I knew that I wanted to fly for the rest of my life. I later attained a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) and Instrument Rating (IR) in 2017. Currently, I am in Lahore to advance my Instructors Rating. 
Being a girl from Skardu, thinking of being a pilot was a novel idea. A big question was if my people, even my parents, would allow me to do so? I knew how the people of my town have always supported their girls – they let their daughters become doctors, engineers, teachers, mountain climbers and what not, so I was not surprised when my father allowed to me get myself enrolled in a flying school.  However, thinking out of the box and doing a new thing was not that easy. I moved from Skardu to Islamabad in
order to start my training and CPL/IR course.


To do something extraordinary, we all first need to stop thinking of ourselves as ordinary people; we are not! We are amazing in our own ways, we just need to follow our dreams. Trying and failing is better than not trying and regretting. Live your dreams, follow your passion and do whatever your heart tells you. That is the only key to success.


I look back now and cherish each moment of my flying days: the first air experience, the first solo flight, the day I got my private pilot’s license and the day when I was finally a certified commercial pilot. All of this was possible because I dared to dream big, I had faith in myself and my parents trusted me, which helped me achieve whatever I have today. To do something extraordinary, we all first need to stop thinking of ourselves as ordinary people; we are not! We are amazing in our own ways, we just need to follow our dreams. Trying and failing is better than not trying and regretting. Live your dreams, follow your passion and do whatever your heart tells you. That is the only key to success.
Pakistan aviation industry is indeed facing a tough time but I am very sure there will come a time when it will grow again and opportunities will be created for everyone. I am hopeful for all the young people out there who want to become pilots, especially girls. My message to them is not to give up on their dreams, to keep the spark alive, be strong, know their strength and think big. HH


E-mail:[email protected]

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