Come fly with me


In a case of leading by example, an 82 year-old woman took to the skies over Beijing last Sunday to encourage more young women to train for careers as pilots.

Miao Xiaohong, a retired military pilot, flew a light aircraft for 40 minutes, accompanied by a trainer, telling the Beijing Youth Daily there aren’t enough female aviators.

“I can still fly at 82. You young people are more likely to be able to fly and should do it better than me,” she urged.

Shandong-born Miao began her training in the Chinese airforce in 1956, becoming an army pilot two years later where she mostly flew logistics missions.

She said she was nervous before her latest flight but felt totally calm once she entered the cockpit. “When I got out of the plane, my body was okay and my heart rate was normal,” said the plucky octogenarian.

Last year the airforce said that 40 women aged between 17 and 20 were expected to join its pilot training programme and that it had trained 500 women as pilots since 1951.

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