Iranian female pilot Fatemeh Azadeh

Fatemeh Azadeh, the first Iranian female pilot

TEHRAN — Fatemeh Azadeh, a 26-year old woman from Zahedan, the capital of Sistan and Baluchistan Province, is the first female pilot in Iran, ISNA reported.

Azadeh criticizes the prevailing attitudes towards female pilots as many people do not trust them and do not board on a plane piloted by a woman.

“Such attitudes should be reformed both in the air and on the earth,” she said.

Azadeh who is a pilot for both private planes and airliners took her first aviation exam at age 19. So far she has flown over 200 hours and will soon be appointed as the first female pilot in command in Iran.

“When I was 19 I took the crash test. As we landed everything looked normal and I was thrilled to have such opportunity but all of a sudden the plane started to crash.”

“My trainer acted like he was shocked to make the situation look spontaneous while I was terrified and started to say the Shahadatain (the two testimonies said to affirm that no one deserves worship except for Allah before converting to Islam or while some one is on the verge of death) and at the same time I tried to calm down my trainer.”

“As the situation got back to normal by my trainers’ guidelines, he explained that it was a test and that no woman has ever passed the test before. For a week after the test I kept having nightmares of plane crashes, but it’s now one of my best memories,” she said when asked about one of her most exciting flying experiences.

Azadeh adds, “We are the noblest of all creatures and we are born once and live once so we should not confine ourselves to small wishes, and that’s why I chose to be a pilot.”

Elsewhere in her remarks she say, “The plane is like your car, so you should have some primary information as to how it works in case of a possible failure, so I took some courses focusing on aircrafts troubleshooting and repair. All my classmates were men and during the course we were bound to lift heavy objects, but I never let any of my classmates help me as I believed I should be able to be on my own in case something bad happens.”

Azadeh is trying to obtain necessary licenses to start up a school of pilot training both in Tehran and Zahedan but she believes that it’s an expensive field and not everyone can afford taking such classes.

Along with Azadeh there are two other female pilots working at airliners, however she is the only pilot in command in Iran.

“Being a pilot means being up-to-date, and to be up-to-date one should never stop learning,” she states.

She has also come in first in an eloquence contest held at the Sharif University of Technology.

By Tehran Times