First Officer Shumaila Mazhar and Captain Maryam Masood became the first female crew to land a plane in Gilgit.
The Islamabad-to-Gilgit flight is said to be a “very challenging and requires a lot of precision and technique” by Pakistan International Airline (PIA) itself and the duo’s successful attempt has made headlines.
PIA spoke with their star pilots and here is what we learnt,
Maryam Masood shared,”I was on my way to becoming a doctor, I think my father wanted that as well,” “But sometime during the FSc, I don’t know what happened but I just went up to my father and told him I want to fly. He was taken aback, saying ‘I thought you wanted to be a doctor, you’re so young!’ It took him some time to take me seriously but he was able to understand how passionate I was about this.”
Shumaila Mazhar said she “always wanted to become a pilot” and could have “never thought of anything else in my life.”
She added, “We’re glad we had support not just from our families but from PIA. We weren’t afraid or nervous at all. Even during this Gilgit flight. It’s part of our training to stay very calm despite the conditions.”
Maryam revealed, “Yes, it can get challenging but we’re never afraid. We don’t just fly over the mountains, we fly through them without any fear. That’s a requirement for being a pilot, but it’s still such a good feeling every time we successfully land a plane. It’s a sense of achievement and that overpowers the fear every time.”
“There are barely any fields in Pakistan where there are no women. I myself was the fourth woman to join PIA but even when we’re few we’re there. The three women senior to me had their share of difficulty and paved the way for me. And I want to carry that on and improve whatever they did and hope women after me will do the same.”