What inspired you to become a pilot?
When I was five years old I went on a trip to Germany to visit my aunt and since then it had been my childhood dream to become a pilot. I’ll never forget that experience of being on an aircraft for the first time — the sensation of taking off on a plane is what sparked the desire to pursue this career. Even now, everytime I’m on a plane I feel like my five year old self again. I’m grateful to be able to get to where I am today. Being in Canada gave me this amazing opportunity. I’m from Romania and immigrated here when I was a teenager with my parents. I wouldn’t have had the same opportunity there.
How long have you been a pilot and with what airline/company?
I’ve been a pilot with Jazz Aviation for a year and three months. I’m currently a first officer on the CRJ Series 200/900. Started flying after I hit 260 hours in training, along with all the requirements for airlines, through a pathway program from flight school. I actually completed flight school training at CQFA in Chicoutimi, Quebec. A little fun tidbit: when we were in flight school we actually had a lot of opportunity to do back-seat flying, where when another student is getting instructed, you can hop on board as a passenger. I took full advantage of this! At one point I had more hours as a passenger on the aircraft compared to other students who had hours on that aircraft to learn. That’s how much I love flying — it’s like my safe space.
What has been your favorite travel memory?
Besides my first travel experience as a kid, there’s so many. I will say that I’ve been in Canada for about 15 years and I’ve discovered more of North America after two months of pilot than before. I got the opportunity to travel all across Canada which was quite an amazing experience for me. Another favorite memory I have is once flying between Calgary to Winnipeg on Canada Day (July 1st) and on the way we saw fireworks from 30,000 feet above the ground! That experience was surreal and really put another perspective on flying for me.
Where are you looking forward to traveling once it’s safe to do so?
Honestly anywhere right now! But really, we had a couple of trips planned with my fiance and family to Romania and Columbia, so I would like to make that happen once we’re able to. Banff is another destination on our list. Early in my flying career I was based in Calgary and often flew over the rocky mountains and that was always a magnificent view. I never had the chance to go while I lived closer but now definitely want to go with my loved ones.