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Pilot Susy

I was born and raised in Göteborg on the Swedish west coast. I am not sure why I fell in love with aviation, but it happened early and it has been there as long as I can remember. I think the combination of living close to an airport and having a big brother who loved Star Wars might have something to do with it. My parents never put any pressure on me in any direction and I always felt I could be anything I wanted. I also had endless support from my family when I told them about my pilot plans.

Flight School was amazing. I was accepted to the school I really wanted to go to, Lund University School of Aviation, and had the best time ever. The school is government funded which of course makes it really attractive but also hard competition to be accepted. However, I did well and enjoyed my flight training there as well as my instructor training.

The flying part was my favourite, but the theoretical part was harder than I expected. I didn’t know that you had to study so many different subjects to become a pilot and it was very challenging from time to time. I was in a great group of 12 students and we helped each other as much as possible. We had amazing ex air-force instructors mixed with younger pilots and pilots from the commercial sector, I couldn’t have wished for a better start in aviation. It was difficult getting a job after flight school and I struggled to get more flight hours by towing gliders and working as a flight instructor. After a few years I got a job as Flight Operations assistant for a Swedish airline and that led me to my first pilot job a year later.

I am a first officer at Brussels Airlines flying the lovely Airbus 319/320 in Europe and northern Africa. It’s a great airplane and it was a welcome change for me after flying the Avro RJ for ten years. I see myself staying here at Brussels Airlines and the next step would either be to transfer to Airbus 330 and long haul operations or an upgrade to the left seat. I am not in a rush at all though, I am enjoying my current position and just trying to get to know the route network and the airbus better. I have a family now so I try harder than before to have a bit more time on ground. Being a pilot and parent can be tough sometimes, if you spend a lot of time away from home.

Go for it! I did, but when I was younger I doubted myself too much. The older I get the more I realise you really have to follow your heart and just do what makes you happy, and worry less about the future. People told me it would be too difficult to be accepted to flight school, that I wouldn't get the hours needed, that I wouldn’t find a job. All proven wrong today.

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