Long-time friends pilot together again

Bristow Norway was recently treated to a heartwarming flight of friendship.

Senior First Officer Mariann Rostøl and Captain Maria Johannessen, two pilots who have shared a similar journey, were once again in the cockpit together after a 14-year hiatus, piloting the S-92. This wasn’t just any flight. It was a flight that celebrated the culmination of years of passion and dedication, and ultimately, good friendship.

In 2004, Rostøl and Johannessen embarked on their aviation careers separately, attending different flight schools in Norway. Both honed their skills flying the R44, a single-engine helicopter with a semi-rigid, two-bladed main rotor, a two-bladed tail rotor, and a skid landing gear.

Rostøl flew for Helikopterdrift in Norway and Johannessen for a company in Denmark. It wasn’t until they both decided to get their Instrument Rating (IR) that fate drew them together.

Recommended by a Norwegian school to pursue their IR rating at the former Bristow Academy, the duo traveled to the U.S. in August 2008. Their three-month stint at the Bristow Academy not only enhanced their skills but forged a lasting bond.

Soon after, Johannessen joined Rostøl at Helikopterdrift (now Helitrans), where they shared the skies for the first time. But the winds of change were strong. Rostøl moved on to CHC in August 2009, while Johannessen continued her journey at Helikopterdrift. By 2012, Johannessen shifted to Bristow Norway, and both friends were piloting the S-92, albeit in different companies.

In 2016, Rostøl faced a layoff. But as is often said, when one door closes, another opens, and Bristow was the beneficiary of the opening door. By January 2017, Rostøl had secured a position at Bristow Norway, reuniting the duo at the same base in Stavanger, both as co-pilots.

Earlier this summer, another feather was added to their shared cap when Johannessen achieved her captaincy. Among the first to fly with her in this new role was none other than her close friend Mariann, a flight neither one will ever forget.

"We have been the best of friends since the very first day we met, so this was a big moment," Rostøl said, reflecting on their shared experiences. "And there will be many more to come! We are so lucky to get the chance to fly together in such a great company with wonderful colleagues."

The journey of Rostøl and Johannessen is more than that of two skilled pilots in the helicopter aviation world. It's also a story of lasting friendship. As they fly Bristow S-92s over Norway and the Norwegian North Sea, their deep friendship will continue to enrich their shared experiences.

Vi ønsker dere alt godt videre, Mariann og Maria!