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Female pilots based in Van Nuys aim to inspire more women to join aviation careers

Three young Southern California women are looking to inspire other women to consider a career in the skies as they share their experience in being pilots.

Emma Baker, Katie Peters and Giselle Gomez all pilot out of the Van Nuys Airport. They’re hoping that by sharing their background and start in aviation, other women interested in the male-dominated field will join, too.

They describe the liberty of flying as powerful and freeing, and hope more women will get that feeling in becoming pilots, themselves.

“Once you lift off the ground, it’s just you and the plane,” said Baker, who’s a flight instructor at the Van Nuys Flight School.

Baker comes from a family of pilots and her parents met in aviation school.

“My mom was his student, so they ended up falling in love and now 23 years later, here I am — an instructor at the same airport,” Baker said.

Now, she’s navigating her way into reaching her goal of becoming a commercial pilot. Peters has a similar background since her family also has a passion for taking a career in the skies.

“I grew up in an aviation family,” Peters said. “My dad, my uncles, my grandfather was a military pilot.”

Peters started her career as a flight attendant and decided her place was in the cockpit.

“After several years of major airlines, I finally wanted to make the jump because that little bug was just biting at the back of my brain to learn to fly,” Peters said.

Gomez, who is also a flight instructor, said she feels women may not know a career in aviation is available for them.

“I feel not a lot of people are super aware it’s an opportunity for them,” Gomez said. “Either getting introduced with a local flight school or booking a discovery flight, just something to introduce yourself to the opportunity.”

While the women all share the Van Nuys Airport in common, there’s also another thing they share – the goal to inspire others.

“We really love trying to break the barrier and convince more women to join the aviation field,” Peters said.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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