ROSEVILLE (CNN NEWSOURCE) – A California woman conquered her fear of flying by facing it head-on and decided to become a licensed pilot.
Now, she’s on a mission to convince more women to take to the skies.
“Let me show you a little bit about my flight, I’m going to jump on in,” Jamie Lou Waterhouse said.
Jamie Lou Waterhouse turns 40 next month and is out to prove something to herself and the world.
“For me specifically, I was terrified to fly for 10 years. I wouldn’t get on a plane, I wouldn’t even get on a big jet. I wouldn’t go on vacation, I wouldn’t do anything fun,” Waterhouse said.
She says last year her friend convinced her to go on a private plane to Cabo.
During the trip, the pilot handed over the wheel and gave her a test of flying.
“He gave me a wheel for just a second and the minute my hands got on that thing, I’m like, this is an amazing experience,” Waterhouse said.
That rush helped her to overcome her fear in the sky and she recently became a pilot.
“I didn’t have a dream of, you know, when I grow up, I want to be a pilot. It was never a goal in my life. I was just lucky enough to be thrown in the cockpit and was able to be exposed to such a beautiful thing,” Waterhouse said.
She now has three certifications to fly, including a commercial license.
“In the last 12 months I have flown almost 500 hours,” Waterhouse said.
With only 4-percent of women currently in aviation, Waterhouse is on a mission to change those numbers.
“My goal is to get that 4-percent up to at least 20-percent in the next 10 years,” Waterhouse said.
A successful real estate broker, she has no plans to give up her main career but she bought her own plane, offers free rides and is set on mentoring women about flying.
“I hope it inspires women of all ages that they can do it and it’s not just, you know, a male-dominated industry even though right now it is. So I really want to get the word out there is a shortage of pilots. We need more pilots and especially women,” Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse says everyone should experience the freedom of flying and know they can be a pilot, too.
“You get your drivers license, you should get your pilot’s license, it should be the normal thing that everybody does,” Waterhouse said.