One Aberdeen girl sees a bright future in aviation

For 14-year-old Francesca Loveday In the seat flying overseas

Despite increasing efforts to redress the balance, women are still under-represented in the aviation industry.

Recent figures from the Civil Aviation Authority suggest that females only account for around five percent of the UK pilot workforce and fewer than two percent of UK engineers.

Bristow has more women on average helping our helicopters take to the skies every day. And while we are proud of the contribution they make to our business, there is still a long way to go. We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue their dream aviation career.

So the Aberdeen team was pleased to welcome one particularly keen local youngster for a behind-the-scenes tour of our operations recently.

For 14-year-old Francesca Loveday, who lives near to Bristow’s Aberdeen operations, flying overseas for a family holiday led to passion for aviation.

Inspired by stories of female pilots online, and following a flying lesson taken for her 14th birthday, she got in touch with Bristow to find out more, and, while Bristow doesn’t often have the ability to offer access, on this occasion we were able to help with a short visit.  

Francesca, along with her mom and dad

The Aberdeen team gave Francesca, along with her mom and dad, a behind-the-scenes tour of Bristow’s operations, including flight planning, engineering and the passenger terminals. The visit culminated with Francesca taking to the skies – virtually – in one of Bristow’s state-of-the-art helicopter simulators.

UK Director, Matt Rhodes, said: “Aviation is a career open to everyone and it was great to see Francesca’s enthusiasm for all things aviation! Maybe one day she’ll be back with us as an engineer, a pilot or in one of the hundreds of other roles which keep our helicopters flying safe and saving lives, every day.”

Francesca said: “I really enjoyed the visit. The simulator was a fantastic experience and the whole visit opened my eyes to the huge range of possible careers in aviation. I see helicopters flying around Aberdeen a lot but I didn’t realise how many people it takes to keep them operating safely.

“It’s an exciting industry and I hope to make a career out of it one day. Thanks to everyone who took the time to show me around.”