Airline: United Airlines
Crew Position: First Officer
Aircraft: Boeing 777
Domicile: Washington DC
What is the year and location of the flight school you attended?
2000-2004: Potomac Airfield (VKX) Greater Washington DC area.
What airplanes have you flown during your career?
C-150,172,182,310. BE58, CRJ200/700/900, Airbus 319/320/ B777
Have you had/have any mentors throughout the years?
Yes. Throughout my career, I was fortunate to find a few pilots who were willing to mentor me, and these were all my dear friends from the express career. I still have mentors today whom I turn to, every time I have questions. I am a mentor to several aviators, but I believe the need of mentorship doesn’t end when you get to the majors.
I was a flight attendant for United Airlines in the late 1990’s. One of the Captains suggested that I take a discovery flight in 2000, and the rest is history. I took lessons on my days off and 5 years later (and having a son in 2003), I successfully transitioned to become an airline pilot.
Do you have any future aviation goals you hope to achieve?
How have you been able to pay it forward in the aviation community?
I would like to introduce my role at Professional Asian Pilot Association as a Vice President= We are small non-profit organization, and we are tirelessly working on creating inclusive environment in the flight deck. My role includes managing scholorships, maintaining partnership with other D&I organizations and promoting mentorship support to other aviators who are new to this. We are hosting our first PAPA confereance in Las Vegas on July 16th. I am really proud to be part of this organization and how much we’ve grown since its establishiment in 2017.
What have been some recent challenges you have faced?
COVID= fear of the unknown about your career and maintaining calm and collective attitude at work while flying was somewhat challenging. Mental Wellness is crucial in this industry. Knowing your resources and seek help if needed. Luckly I had union support and family support to get through these tough times but it would have been difficult had it not been for these people supporting us.
What would you say to girls looking to become an airline pilot?
I just said this in my recent interview with United Airlines: “the door is open.” Find good mentors and believe you can achieve this if this is truly what you want to pursue. Find all available resources to achieve your goal, and surround yourself with positive people, not the ones who will put you down.
What do you feel is a benefit to being an ISA+21 member?
ISA+21 members are one of the most inclusive groups of women I’ve ever met. We all have a unique path to get here and everyone is willing to assist anyone who is in need of advice or mentorship. If you want to become an airline pilot, if you are looking for more information on career enhancement, or if you are simply looking for new friends, this is an amazing organization to be part of.
United Airlines sat down with Kaori Paris to learn about her journey to the cockpit. Watch Here >>>