By Ben Wheeler
MEET this stunning blonde Londoner who has overcome sexism from passengers to become a full qualified airline pilot, after her father inspired her to follow his footsteps into the cockpit.
Images show Annie Hellner, 25, originally from Malmö, Sweden on duty in her ‘office’ where she jets hundreds of passengers to their destinations the world over.
Annie talked about difficulties she has encountered with rude passengers due to her gender, whilst praising some of the more positive comments she receives.
“There’s been passengers who have doubted my ability to fly the plane, simply because I’m a woman,” she said.
“I remember one man who, when he found out that I was the pilot, started to complain about why I was let into the flight deck, and that women shouldn’t be flying airplanes because it’s a man’s job.
“I think I speak for all female pilots when I say that every female pilot has had similar experiences at least once in their career.
“Most of the comments I get are positive though, many passengers tell me that they’re glad to see a woman in the flight deck and that I should be proud of myself.
“I just hope that we can come to a point when there’s no male or female pilots but simply just pilots, because that’s exactly what we are.”
Annie discussed the formative years that inspired her to take to the skies and how she went about making her dreams a reality.
“My father was the one who inspired me to become a pilot,” she said.
“He was a pilot himself back in the eighties and flew commercial for a couple of years until he unfortunately lost his license due to sickness.
“He always brought me and my older brother to all kinds of air shows and flight museums, listening to him telling stories about when he was a pilot made me fall in love with aviation as well.
“When I was 12 or 13 I decided that I too wanted to become a pilot and started to work hard in school to achieve my goal.
“I started my pilot education in August 2012 and finished in January 2016, three weeks later I got my first airline job as a First Officer.
“After deciding all that time ago where I wanted to be, here I am 13 years later in the right seat of a Boeing 737!”
Annie, who has so far touched down in 30 countries during her career, went on to detail the perks of her role, concluding by giving advice to any other women who want to follow their dreams despite what society might have to say.
“The rush of adrenaline is simply amazing, when you move the thrust levels for take-off and hear the jet engines spool up, it’s something you’ll never get tired of. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’m piloting a Boeing 737,” she said.
“There are definitely a few perks, the first one being the office view of course. I would bet that I have the best view in the world.
“You’ll get to watch sunsets and sunrises, different kinds of weather phenomena and see famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Colosseum in Rome.
“I also like that it’s not a 9 to 5 kind of job. Every day is different, it never gets boring. Some days you’re on early shift and have to get up at 3 in the morning and other days on the late shift going to bed at 3 in the morning.”
“My father always said to me that you can do anything as long as you have the strength, willpower and courage to do it, and I’ve lived by these words.
“Basically, don’t give up and never stop believing in yourself.”