Arprinder Kaur – The First Female Sikh Pilot in USA

Photo Credit: envoyair

Arprinder Kaur – The First Female Sikh Pilot in USA

Most young girls have no idea on what type of job they would like to do when they grow up! However this was never the case for Arprinder Kaur, at just 14 years old Arprinder took her first flight from India to the United States and from that moment on she new that she wanted to be a pilot!

As a young child Arpeinder Kaur was basically a tomboy, she loved to climb up trees, play cricket and spent her day’s playing outside with the boys, her parents knew that she loved to being this way and allowed her to be herself as they knew how happy it made her feel.

During her first flight, the flight attendant invited Aprinder to go and see inside the cockpit, Aprinder jumped at the chance as it was the first first time she had ever seen a plane. From the very first moment she sat in the jump seat she was totally mesmerized! She loved everything about the whole experience, right from the pilots uniforms, right through to the equipment, she new exactly at that particular time, that she wanted to become a pilot when she grew up!

That very first flight was the start of a new life for Aprinder and her family, from that point on she new that growing up in India and eventually moving to US was the opportunity that she had been waiting for.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2015 Active Civil Airmen Statistics women only make up just 6 percent of commercial pilots in the U.S. Aprinder kaur is the very first female Sikh pilot in the U.S and is the only female pilot to wear a turban on the flight deck. Aprinder says that she commends American Eagle/Envoy for considering and approving her request to have the right to wear a turban, or dastaar as it know by Sikhs.

Aprinder has been noted to say that she feels a great sense of responsibly, as she is the first female Sikh pilot that is able to wear a turban on deck and that she realises that Sikhs can take on any challenge and apply for any position in the U.S, with or without wearing their turban. Most importantly, Arprinder Kaur feels that she is responsible to teach young girls the very importance of following her dreams regardless of the gender roles!

Photo Credit: envoyair

Following Her Dream!

Initailly Aprinders parents wanted her to peruse a career in It and urged her to complete a degree, that she did, at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Aprinder completed her IT degree easily and graduated in 2002. The very next day, her boyfriend Pritpal Singh proposed to her and she then moved in with her him and moved to his home state of Kansas.

Aprinder’s husband, asked her if she would like to enter a masters program in It so that she could find a job in that industry, however Aprinder had another dream that she wanted to peruse! You guessed it, she wanted to peruse a career in aviation! It was at this stage that Aprinder opened her heart to her husband and explained that being a pilot was her true dream and passion!

Arprinders husband and family valued educated and supported her decision to enroll in aviation school with the provision to earn her pilot license. She immediately enrolled in her fisrt discovery flight in Manassa, Virginia and went on to complete the rest of her pilot licenses at the Air Associates of Kansas in Olathe, Kansas.

After just three short years in Kansa, Aprinder Kaur, husband and family moved to San Antonio, Texas, so that she could explore other career opportunities for their future. After this time Aprinder climbed the rank in her aviation career by becoming a flight instructor at Wright Flyers Aviation.

Photo Credit: envoyair

Aprinder’s Next Big Break

Nothing was going to stop Arinder from furthering her career and climbing the ranks, she then went on to fulfilling her dream of becoming a pilot for a larger airline company by interviewing for their regional partner American Eagle ( currently known as Envoy). Aprinder had a close friend Kulbir Singh Sandhu who also worked for American Airlines, he recommended that she interview for the postion and encouraged her to follow her dream. In 2008 Aprinder Kaur became an Envoy First Officer on the Embraer 145 (E145).

Aprinder says that her favourite part of the job is during the holiday period, as she gets to see the smile of passengers as they reach their destinations safely! She also feels a rewarding sens of pride when it comes to her two sons Insaf and Jivat, they quite often write about her job in their school journal and they also draw pictures of her wearing her wings on her pilot uniform.

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