Future Woman Pilot Rises Above with Faith, Trust and a Whole Lot of Determination
In 1930, Orville and Wilbur Wright, also known as the Wright Brothers, made the first successful flight in all of history.
Not much later, in 1910, Blanche Scott was named the first woman in the US to pilot an airplane. With a brisk wind at her back, she ascended 40 feet above the earth, broke barriers, and demonstrated to everyone that women can be pilots.
Shortly later, Harriet Quimby made headlines by becoming the first licensed female pilot in 1911. The next year, she went on to become the first woman to fly across the English Channel. And who would forget about Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean?
Today, as they did throughout history, women are making their own names in the field of aviation. Yet, if you ask little girls about what they want to be when they grow up, it’s rare to get “pilot” as in immediate response.
The same was true for 23-year old Rizzah Hope Anjao, a future pilot who took up Aviation Electronics Technology at the Philippine State College of Aeronautics.
Not Her First Love
Rizzah recalls sitting at the front row of a commercial plane, wondering how an airplane flies. At the tender age of five, she would travel from Bacolod on her own (as an unaccompanied minor), to visit her mom who worked at Manila at the time. Despite her fond early memories of flying, becoming a pilot wasn’t Rizzah’s childhood dream. Instead, she wanted to become a veterinarian.
But growing up in a Christian family, Rizzah knew God had other plans for her. When she received a message from the Philippine State College of Aeronautics (PhilSCA), saying she passed her entrance exam, she knew it was God’s way of leading her back to what she loved doing as a child: flying.
No Way But Up
Entering the aviation industry was not without challenges. Rizzah’s eight years in aviation school was peppered with exams, ground-school work, flight training, continuous learning – all hard work with little room for play.
Before she even started with flight school, Rizzah had to work to gain her parents’ trust and to rise above comments from relatives who discouraged her from becoming a pilot. Add to that the struggle of proving to everyone that despite being in a field dominated by men, she, a woman, can be successful in flying a plane. But Rizzah is determined to win: “as long as you have dedication and patience, you’ll make it through,” she shares.
While at first she found challenge in “doing as the guys do,” she soon learned that the aviation industry is a level playing field for both men and women, especially in an institution like OMNI Aviation where students are treated with equal respect. “As a female flyer at OMNI Aviation, I feel that the guys really respect me, as they do the other ladies.”
On Finding Your Calling
It’s inevitable for young people who are at a crossroads in their lives to feel at a loss. But Rizzah is a living proof that what’s meant for you will find its way back to you, in God’s perfect time. After being faced with overwhelming life choices and facing failures and struggles, she finally realized that being a female aviator was her real calling at the age of 17.
“I was 17 when I started in OMNI Aviation. It was then I realized that I was born to fly and travel. Being a pilot wasn’t my dream, but because it was God’s favor and along with faith and trust, I was able to figure out what I wanted in life.”
Her advice to other aspiring female flyers? Be strong and of good courage, and never lose hope: “If you want to become a pilot, you need determination and commitment, patience and understanding. You will develop your skill as you go on with your training — just be brave and be mature in every situation.”