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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Aim High, A Pilot’s Story in Honor of Black History Month

Aim high has a very special meaning to Ms. Krista Saint- Dic. She is a rare bird- A female pilot who flies for Republic Airways along the East coast. Her mother gifted her with a favorite piece of jewelry years ago. The gold necklace has a pendant that states “someone special” and she never takes it off.

Hailing from Haiti Saint-Dic states, “Being a woman in this field, from my experience, is not easy. Especially a woman of color.” The aviator looked for women of color role models. A pilot named Renee, who flies for Fed-Ex helped her fill out her student pilot certificate after one simple conversation.

Krista Saint-Dic commercial pilot.
Krista Saint-Dic commercial pilot. (White suit by Zara, styling by Debra Ginyard, photography by Hosea Johnson)

Before she started taking flight lessons, a captain named Erika, who flies for Delta, introduced her to a group of women aviators on Facebook. Three flight groups on FB are Ladies in Flight Training (LIFT), Females in Aviation Sticking Together (FAST) for private pilots and Sisters of the Skies (SOS) which is for commercial pilots. Once she started flying she followed all the women of color pilots that she could find until she found three that she wanted to be like.

Krista Saint-Dic commercial pilot.

Three pilots she aspires to be like are Stephanie Grant (United), Tarah Ernest (American) and April Hughes(UPS). In the summer of 2018 she decided she wanted to be a pilot and started taking flight lessons in the spring of 2019. Several licenses later in December of 2022 she became an airline pilot.

One of her biggest motivations has been foreseeing herself accomplishing something so great that she could proudly represent her family, her country and specifically herself. To become and remain a pilot takes a lot of studying, a lot of dedication, a lot of discipline and lots of practice. Every stage requires in-depth knowledge of the particular license you’re acquiring and several different tests to make it to the next level. Some of these include a written test, stage checks, and oral.  You also take a practice test referred to as a check ride to showcase that you can operate the aircraft safely while executing everything that is required. As an airline pilot you get retested on your aircraft to make sure you’re still sharp and can manage an emergency.

Saint- Dic knows one day her dream of traveling to Haiti to inspire the youth will come true. “This would be an honor”, she states. The pilot can get to the point where she chooses her route but has to gain seniority first. She looks forward to flying into New Orleans, Key West, the Caribbean and eventually Europe.

Written by Leah M. Francis
Styled by Debra Ginyard (White suit by Zara)
Photography by Hosea Johnson

 

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