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CAE Women in Flight

Meet our ambassadors

Inspiring the next generation of female pilots.
They’re just like you!
Get to know our Women In Flight Ambassadors, the new generation of female pilots, and what inspired them to reach for the sky.
Alicia Hunt @aliciahunt1

“Be persistent and apply diligently to every scholarship you're eligible for - I received more "no's" than "yeses". Put together an application package that showcases your achievements and, don't give up!”

From: California, USA
Fun fact: Alicia is a trained actress, she has worked with Ryan Reynolds, Bruce Dern & Uzo Aduba
Favourite song: Shivers, Ed Sheeran
Biggest dream: Net zero carbon emissions for the aviation industry, and a 50/50 balance between male and female pilots!
Favourite hobby: Teaching public speaking at Boston University
Cadet Programme: American Airlines Cadet Academy
CAE academy: CAE Phoenix

Alicia knew she would one day become a pilot. From the first time she flew she was instantly hooked!

But it was her previous career that sparked her interest in aviation! While working as an actress on a project that told the story of a female fighter and drone pilot in the US military, she had the privilege to tour a few naval air stations and got to meet some incredible female pilots. It was during this research for her part that she learned about the current pilot shortage and then took a discovery flight, a program designed to introduce people to flying. Fast-forward to a few years later, and she is teaching people how to fly!

Alicia is currently building her flight hours as a multi-engine flight instructor at CAE Phoenix. She trains cadets from Europe and the USA. Once she’s reached her 1500 hours she will be a pilot for American Airlines. Alicia has also served as President of the Phoenix chapter of Women in Aviation International.

Alicia is so grateful for CAE Women in Flight and credits the scholarship for giving her her big break and launching her piloting career.

Bisma Petafi @bismapetafi

“Female leadership is sharing your journey and showing others that you can really achieve what you put your mind to.”

From: Buckinghamshire, UK
Fun fact: Bisma learned how to fly before she could drive a car
Mountain or beach: Beach
Window or aisle seat: Window
Dream travel destination: Northern Pakistan- for its untouched beauty.
Cadet Programme: CAE Airline Transport Pilot License
CAE academy: CAE Oxford

Hardworking, ambitious, and kind are the words to describe Bisma. Her passion for flying began at a very young age when she tagged along with her mother who worked for KLM. Her mom made sure that every time they flew, Bisma and her sisters would visit the flight deck and see firsthand where the magic happens.

Bisma completed her Air Transportation with a Private Pilot Training degree while working full-time as a British Airways Cabin Crew member. Since then, Bisma has completed her ground school training at CAE Oxford, followed by the Commercial Pilot Training at the CAE training centre in Phoenix, she’s recently completed her Instrument Rating at CAE Oxford and MCC at CAE London Gatwick.

No stranger to the aviation industry, Bisma worked as a Crewing Officer for easyJet, as well as Cabin Crew for British Airways, roles which she believes has given her a wider understanding of the airline industry and the expectations that come with becoming an airline pilot.

She is thankful for the opportunity that CAE Women in Flight has given her, that otherwise would have been unachievable.

Cindy Wong @cindywongyc_

"I want to continue to inspire young girls on their aviation journey.”

From: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Three things cannot live without: Rice, Spotify, and Netflix
Fav food: Tom yum soup
Childhood ambition: A superstar
Hashtag that best describes Cindy: #coffeeholic
Cadet Programme: AirAsia Cadet Pilot Programme
CAE academy: CAE Kuala Lumpur

Cindy’s aviation journey started after she completed her degree in psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia. In fact, Cindy had no real knowledge about the aviation industry until her older sister got a job as a member of the cabin crew and began sharing stories about all the female pilots she was meeting.

When Cindy returned to Malaysia, she decided to pursue piloting and became an AirAsia cadet pilot and enrolled in AirAsia’s MPL program at the CAE training centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Her aviation journey continued in CAE Melbourne, flying the Cessna 172. Cindy has since advanced to completing further training such as the basic phase in B737 and A320 type rating sims. She most recently graduated from CAE as an Air Asia MPL cadet, and CAE Woman in Flight ambassador.

For Cindy, CAE Women in Flight has given her access to a network of inspiring women who have been on a very similar journey. She looks forward to encouraging other young girls and women to get on board and join the aviation industry.

Daniela Saucedo @danielasau_

“Gender is not a limit – the limit is the sky.”

From: Mexico City, Mexico
Biggest Dream: The biggest dream is to always find more dreams to look up to!
Most important role models: Mom & Dad
Dream aircraft to fly: Boeing 787-8
Cadet Programme: Aeromexico Cadet programme
CAE academy: CAE Phoenix

It’s safe to say that Daniela’s parents were a great influence on her becoming a pilot. Both her mom and dad had long careers in the aviation industry, working as flight attendants.

Daniela has very vivid memories of herself at only 5 years old accompanying her dad on trips and offering welcome treats to passengers, investigating the aircraft, and of course, the first time she visited the cockpit. Those moments planted a seed for what eventually would become a lifelong passion.

Her first flight was back in April 2019, and at that precise moment realized she was made to be a pilot. Beginning her career in aviation at CAE Phoenix where she completed her training and received her commercial pilot’s license and is now working towards her type rating with Aeromexico.

Daniela wants to inspire women and young girls to consider a career in aviation. To her, leadership is something that people shouldn’t take for granted. It’s all about giving off a good vibe! She hopes to help inspire young girls to do more, dream more, and influence positive energy.

CAE Women in Flight truly changed everything in her life. This opportunity introduced her to a new family that shares her passion for the aviation world. For Daniela being part of a group of strong and capable women is a huge responsibility, but also an incredible journey!

Lauren Beam @laurenbeam

“I hope that many more young girls will consider aviation to be just as viable as any other profession. There has never been a better time to enter the industry.”

From: Houston, Texas
Fav airport: Princess Juliana International, St. Marteen
Fav song: Shivers, Ed Sheeran
Fav sport: Beach volleyball
Biggest Dream: To be a Captain in the Boeing 737 for Southwest Airlines.
Cadet Programme: CAE Southwest Destination 225.
CAE academy: CAE Phoenix

Born to fly! Lauren attended airshows from a very young age with her grandfather, this is what ignited her passion for aviation and flight. After university Lauren worked as an engineer but she knew she wanted to be in the sky. Lauren started her journey to the flight deck at CAE Phoenix on the CAE Southwest Destination 225 program. There, she earned her instrument rating, commercial pilot license, CFI and CFII, and spent an additional year as a flight instructor in the Training Excellence Department. Lauren is now a First Officer for XOJET Aviation, flying the Challenger 300/350.

In her free time you’ll probably find Lauren hiking in either National or State Parks, boating, fishing, or kayaking.

Lauren is proud to be a CAE Women in Flight ambassador. She wants to use her platform with CAE to help encourage other women to join this industry and be a part of this special movement.

Kyra Jarvis @kyrajarvis

“I want to break gender barriers and encourage other young women to join this industry. It is important that we are leaders to help set up for a bright future of women in aviation.”

From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Where your passion for flight comes from: Going to airshows with my dad and seeing the planes by my childhood home.
Best piece of advice you’ve received: Challenges and setbacks are nothing to be afraid of when entering a career as a pilot.
One thing people don’t know about you: I love playing golf! A book everyone should read: ‘Stick and Rudder’, and ‘Handling the Big Jets’!
Biggest challenge for female pilots: People underestimating them! Biggest dream: Fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or 777.

Kyra is in her fourth year at the University of Waterloo while training for her Commercial Pilot License and Multi-Engine rating at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre. She is a member of the Ninety Nines, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, and Winged Warriors in Aviation. Kyra is Vice President of Marketing for the University of Waterloo Aviation Society, where she is trying to grow the number of women. She says, “the greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do” and “challenges and setbacks are nothing to be afraid of when entering a career as a pilot”.

Meera Bissonauth @meerabissonauth

"I want to break gender stereotypes in aviation and motivate students, especially girls, to believe in their dreams.”

From: Ontario, Canada
What female leadership is: Building each other up for success in a male-dominated field.
One piece of advice for someone starting out in aviation: Your dedication to your goals will push you and see that you get through the journey.
Where your passion for flight comes from: Going on long haul flights to visit family across the globe as a child.
Guilty pleasure treat: Poutine!
Summer or winter: Winter
Favourite airport: CNC3, Brampton Airport, Ontario, Canada

Meera has worked as a passenger agent, weight and balance specialist, and airline operations coordinator, before living her dream to take flight training. Achieving her Commercial Pilot License last year was her proudest achievement. Her next step is an Instructor Rating at the Brampton Flight Centre. Meera volunteers with the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association and through the Ninety-Nines, helped conduct over 20 aviation presentations to schools. She co-founded “Approaching Finals”, that connects female student pilots across Canada with professional pilots.

Mia Cochran @miacochran

“My love of flying has encouraged me to keep finding ways to handle adversity and persevere.”

From: Ontario, Canada
Favourite time of day: Early mornings.
Dream travel destination: Ireland.
Best way to decompress after a flight: BListen to some music with a cup of tea, a piece of chocolate and a puzzle to work on.
How you reacted when you won: I ran around my apartment with my roommate jumping with joy!
Where did your passion for flying come from: My first flight in a Piper Cub on floats with Ron Cooke. Totally unforgettable!
Yoga or Pilates: Yoga.

Mia’s love for flying encouraged her to overcome air sickness and pursue her Commercial Pilot License at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. She plays on the varsity soccer team and competed on Canada’s women’s soccer team in the Maccabhi Games in Israel. As secretary of the Mount Allison Aviation Society, she has promoted increased access to aviation, particularly for women, by hosting monthly events. Mia belongs to the Ninety-Nines and volunteers with “Girls Take Flight” in Oshawa.

Jaime Hanson @jaimehanson

“I am so excited to be an ambassador because helping others achieve their dreams is a huge part of my own dream.”

From: Alberta, Canada
Three things you cannot live without: My dogs! BamBam, Ludo and Dozer.
What did you want to be when you grew up: A fighter pilot or race car driver.
Best piece of advice you’ve received: “If it can be done, you can learn to do it.”
Biggest dream: To own and run my own flight operation, fly-in fishing excursions, and running supplies to remote off-grid homesteads.
One thing people don’t know about you: I’ve only been on ONE airline flight before becoming a pilot.
Coffee or tea: Coffee all the way!

Jaime taught herself Grade 12 Math using YouTube to meet entrance requirements at First Nations Technical Institute, where she obtained her Private License within three months, just before all the aircraft were lost in a hangar fire. She has peeled logs, shoveled snow, and detailed vehicles to make ends meet. Her next goal is obtaining her Commercial Pilot License and Float Rating at Skywings in Red Deer, Alberta. Jaime plans to do presentations for high school students “to show them that being a pilot is possible and walk young women through the process of how I did it”.

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