CEDAR CITY (News4Utah) - Less than 6 percent of pilots globally are women and Southern Utah University is trying to change that.
"I fly single engine, multi-engine, jets, helicopters, military aircraft, and some old warbirds. So I love flying!," said Rachelle Spector, Founder and President of the I Hart Flying Foundation.
When Spector discovered her love of flying seven years ago she says she faced unique challenges as a female pilot.
"It goes way beyond just a male-dominated profession. It's the old boys club where women weren't allowed," said Spector.
"I think historically this has been seen as the domain of men. And it's unfortunate. It's not. Women in the training realm tend to learn and respond much faster than their male counterparts," said Michael Mower, Executive Director and Chief Flight Instructor at Southern Utah University.
Spector set out to help other women receive their wings and began the I Hart Flying Foundation - offering scholarships to help young women reach their aviation goals.
"What are young girls going to see when they see men, men, men, and they don't know that they have this option for being a pilot, for being an aircraft mechanic, or aerospace engineering," said Spector.
Southern Utah University has partnered with I Hart Flying.
"Getting more women to realize this is a great and viable career. Just Boeing alone needs over 600,000 pilots in the next 20 years.
The helicopter industry is 40,000 short. There is no possible way right now for the current infrastructure to meet global demand," said Mower.
"There are so many job opportunities available for these young girls, and women don't understand they are there and available to them," said Spector.
You can find more information about I Hart Flying here: https://www.ihartflying.org/.
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