Wendy Paver, a corporate pilot based in Detroit, started flying during college at age 20 as an aviation technology major (which included flight training up to CFII, as well as maintenance training) at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.
Recounting trips to the airport with her father, Wendy recalls, "I've been in love with airplanes since I was a little girl. I'd always be the one looking to the sky at what I thought were the most awesome sights to see! Who can resist looking at an airplane in flight?? My dad would take me to Detroit's Metro Airport, and we would hang out at the approach end of the runway, watching airplanes take off and land."
Though Wendy didn't know any pilots while growing up, her biggest supporters were her mom and dad who encouraged her whenever she said she wanted to be a pilot. "They didn't think that just because I was a girl, I couldn't do it. They knew it was a dream of mine to fly airplanes someday, and they supported me, even when there weren't many women in the industry."
Wendy's career progression has included jobs as a flight instructor, Convair 640 freight pilot, Learjet pilot, and now flying for Ford Motor Company. Currently a member of the Ambassador Chapter, Wendy was awarded the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship in 1994 to obtain her Airline Transport Certificate. Her ratings and certificates include: CFII, ATP with types in the Fokker 70, Gulfstream V, and Falcon 900EX.
Having attained her dream job, Wendy said, "I originally wanted to fly for an airline. I had no idea what the corporate aviation sector would be like. After I began flying for Ford, I realized that THIS is where I wanted to be. I fly with great people. My fellow employees are fantastic. The airplanes are awesome. My schedule may not be known a month ahead of time like my friends at the airlines, but I have a pretty good idea of what my schedule will be a week ahead of time. I like getting to know my passengers, even though it may be brief conversation before or after a flight. I know firsthand that they value and appreciate the service we provide for them. I get to have a nice balance of flying, and 'off time' to be with my family." Wendy and her husband, also a pilot are the parents of three children, ages twelve, ten, and seven.
Wendy's advice for aspiring professional pilots: "Give back to those who need your assistance! In whatever way it is, you will make a positive impact on someone's life. Whether it's volunteering to speak to a class of 2nd graders about flying airplanes...being a mentor...walking in a resume...being a FRIEND who listens...you get the idea! Besides helping someone, you get so much more out of giving. I have benefited, and been truly grateful for those ladies (you know who you are) who've lent a hand to me in my career progression."