It’s Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week! Globally, the aviation community is celebrating the anniversary of the issuance of the world’s first female pilot license in 1910. As part of the annual observance, we’re raising awareness of aviation opportunities for women and girls by celebrating the accomplishments of our own women in aviation.
Meet Madeline Pope Fetterman. As Project Manager at PrecisionHawk, she ensures drones are deployed and data’s delivered. More than an “air traffic control of commercial drones,” Madeline works with some of the world’s leading enterprises to pioneer new practices in drone-based aerial intelligence. We asked her about her experience in aviation.
What do you love about drones and aviation?
Aviation without purpose is simple fun. I don't need a reason to enjoy the sky through flight, whether that's manned or unmanned. Aviation with a purpose cultivates innovation. I can use my pleasure and apply it towards figuring out the world's problems.
Why do you work in drones and aviation?
My passion early on in life was to study the world above me. Using my meteorological and GIS background, as well as my aviation hobby, I wanted to dive into application problem solving. Drones do more than collect data. They solve real issues that people face every day, and it's a pleasure to see my passion become the answer for real-life questions.
Why is it important that women are included in the drones and aviation communities?
Women don't need to be "included" in the drone community. We are already the foundation builders of the drone community. This market is still young, and women every day are contributing to drone technology for all types of applications. Women started in this industry early, and I expect our next generation will have just as strong of a foothold.
What can women who are interested in drones and aviation do to get started?
It's so easy to get started in aviation or drones, but you need to know if it's for you. Ladies, go take a 1-time manned flight lesson. If you love it, do it! Buy a small drone and get your Part 107 license. If you find it fun, harness that interest into a career! Most importantly, keep looking at the PrecisionHawk job board: https://precisionhawk.com/careers
Is there a woman in drones and aviation that inspires you? Who and why?
Bessie Coleman is a true aviation legend, and I admire her for so many reasons. Coleman found her passion to fly, and she wasn't willing to settle for anything less. Being a black female in the U.S., she had to go all the way to France to get her pilot's license, and then came back to the U.S. to show off her talent. Her entire life was devoted to showing the world that abilities are what counts—not what you look like.
Interested in a career in drones? Look for opportunities to join Madeline and the rest of the team on our Careers page.