Sophie still can't believe she is being paid for what she loves most, flying. She loves the challenges and putting all her senses to the task. She loves the sense of freedom and leaving her problems on the ground. She still gets an adrenaline rush.
Currently, there are 19,802 commercial pilots in Canada. Only 470 of them are women.
Sophie has been with Aerotaxi in St. Hubert, Quebec for two years as a flight instructor. In 1998 she took a flight instructor course at Aerotaxi that consisted of 30 hours of ground school and 30 hours of flight. She has been a flight instructor ever since.
Originally, Sophie was studying tourism at CEGEP as well as taking East Asian studies at the University of Montreal. After two years she took a break and traveled, then pursued her real dream which was flying. She went to the College d'enseignement Superior de Pilot d'aeronefs in St. Bruno, Quebec.
Sophie experiences a variety of frustrations in her line of work. Teaching flying is always effected by the weather. There are fewer classes in the winter so there is less work. The students have to be ready to fly when the weather breaks but sometimes they cancel at the last minute and if you say anything to them, they don't come back. Teaching large groups is also demanding, particularly if you are shy. The hours are very irregular so she finds it hard to see her boyfriend.
Sophie still can't believe she is being paid for what she loves most, flying.
Did you know? Commercial aviation in Canada generates $11 billion in revenue annually.
Sophie definitely encourages other women to get into aviation. She knows women have the skills. It is not physically demanding. Even if they has poor eyesight, they can wear glasses.
Flight instructors start at around $21.00 per hour and go up to around $40.00. But Sophie says you also work an extra hour or two for each one hour flight.
Sophie Dufresne never took a flying lesson in her life. But she was convinced that it would be love at first flight. And Sophie was right! Despite her fear of heights, she overcame all obstacles to graduate as a commercial pilot as well as obtain her instructor's rating.
Now Sophie's flying high, sharing her passion with others, just like herů
Education: Tourism at CEGEP, East Asian courses at the University of Montreal, College d'enseignment Superior do Pilot d'aernefs in St. Bruno, Quebec
Hobbies: Mountain biking