Pilot charts her own course

13:21, March 18, 2011      

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Wang Zheng, the only female captain at Air China and the youngest in civil aviation in the country, poses in this file photo. (Source:China Daily)

If you have a chance to serve in the air -either as a stewardess or pilot - which would you prefer?

For most men, being a handsome pilot operating a huge aircraft is likely their ideal choice, while for most women, being an elegant stewardess wearing a beautiful uniform may be their long-term dream.

However, one Beijing woman booked her career path on a different flight. Twenty-nine-year-old Wang Zheng is the only female captain of Air China and the youngest one at the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

"Like most girls, I also imagined being a stewardess in childhood, because it was regarded as a sign of beauty," Wang said. "But as I grew up, I thought that kind of beauty was a little bit superficial."

In 2003, Wang was a sophomore majoring in electronics and information science in the Civil Aviation University of China when a recruiting notice for female pilots on a bulletin board caught her eye.

"I was so curious about aviation, especially flying an airplane," Wang said. "Meanwhile, many classmates encouraged me to give it a try."

So Wang entered the pilot project - the first time female aviators were recruited from universities across China - and to her surprise she became one of three selected.

She felt lucky because most female pilots came from the military.

"But we three were college students, which sounded unbelievable," Wang said, adding that she had no knowledge of aviation at that time.

Yet when Wang told her parents, her mother disagreed.

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Source: China Daily
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