Q&A with female pilot Helen van Dam

Helen van Dam

Today we are celebrating Girls in Aviation day by interviewing social influencer female pilot – Helen van Dam (@pilotvandam) to encourage young girls to learn about the aviation industry and help them to begin a career within aviation. Helen is from the Netherlands and is currently living in Spain, she is a first officer for B737-800.

What sparked your interest in aviation?

Helen van Dam @pilotvandam: The first time I ever saw the cockpit with all its lights and switches I was in awe and I knew from that moment I wanted to find out more about becoming a pilot.

How old were you when you started flying?

Helen van Dam @pilotvandam: I learnt to fly at the age of 19 and I flew my first commercial flight at the age of 21.

Were there many other women training with you?

Helen van Dam @pilotvandam: In my PPL training I was the only woman, but then during my ATPL another female joined so there was two of us, which was nice. When I went on to do my MCC course, there were two other women with me and in my final part of training which was Type Rating I was the only woman again. 

What advice would you give young women considering a career in aviation?

Helen van Dam @pilotvandam: Don’t assume the aviation industry is a male dominated world, you can do it if you want to!

What training did you undergo?

Helen van Dam @pilotvandam: I did my Integrated ATPL course, MCC and Type Rating before becoming an official airline pilot.

What do you typically fly?

Helen van Dam @pilotvandam: A Boeing 737-800 in Europe.

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