Sky, plane, lady

Svetlana Yeremenko becomes first female pilot in history of Belarusian civil aviation
Svetlana Yeremenko came to Minsk not long ago, in search of employment after Transaero ceased operations.


Belavia not afraid to employ pilots

She encountered some old-fashioned attitudes during her job-seeking, being advised that the applicant should phone themselves, rather than delegating. Of course, none realised that it was Sveta herself who sought the position of pilot. However, Belavia accepted her proposal seriously and she soon passed all tests, receiving immediate employment.

Svetlana’s love for the sky has been strong since childhood, as her father worked as a chief engineer for radio-technical equipment and communication, while her mother was a former head of Yakutia’s airport meteo-station. After watching films on the war, she declared her intention of becoming ‘a bomber pilot’. Accordingly, none in her family was surprised on hearing that Svetlana had decided to become a pilot.

She graduated from St. Petersburg’s State University of Civil Aviation, studying full-time to qualify as a flight navigator. Then, she took correspondence courses to become a pilot. Svetlana is now passing an internship, flying a Boeing 737NG with an instructor, and will start her career as a co-pilot, working in tandem.

Colleagues compliment Svetlana, admitting that she’ll soon be fulfilling her dreams, having not only the desire and good health but a steady character and good training. The Belavia team offers a great deal of support and most of its pilots boast dozens of thousands of hours in the sky. Interestingly, Svetlana’s husband is a pilot too, so he understands her love of aviation.

By Kristina Khilko
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