Shaesta Waiz is on a mission to become the youngest woman to complete a round-the-world flight on her own…
She embarked on her first flight more than 10 years ago, but Shaesta Waiz’s latest turn in the cockpit is more important than most.
Th 29-year-old, who was born in a refugee camp in Afghanistan, is hoping to inspire women around the world by becoming the youngest female pilot to complete a solo round-the-world flight.
The keen aviator, who flew her first plane at the age of 18, has planned an 18-country itinerary that will take her an estimated three months to complete.
Waiz took off from Florida on and is planning to cover five continents and more than 25,000 kilometres between now and August. “When I found my passion, flying, that’s when I started to challenge myself. I started to read. I started to do better in maths. I started to look at the world differently, the sky differently,” Waiz said as she made a stopover in Montreal.
During her 30 stopovers, the engineering graduate and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which is backing her trip, will host events to try to get schoolchildren interested in science, notably aeronautics. According to ICAO figures, less than five percent of commercial pilots are women.
“If you really break it down into science, technology, engineering and math and explore what those career fields offer, it’s very exciting,” Waiz said. “We hope to present to the young kids at these events what those careers are and hopefully get them to pursue these careers that are in need of more talent.”