At 30, Anny Divya is the world’s youngest female Boeing 777 commander.
Accepted to flight school at age 17 and with no direct or familial piloting experience, she was flying blind at first. “I had no clue about any aircraft, technology, nothing,” she told CNN. “I’d never had any flying background or anybody to guide me, the whole subject was very new to me.”
The steep learning curve was only one hurdle the small-town woman faced when she arrived in Uttar Pradesh for school, according to CNN. She had to overcome cultural barriers, too. But overcome them she did:
“I wanted to become a pilot, that’s what I wanted to do. So even though I was not doing OK initially, I was very determined to just do it.”
She’s got a few words of advice for other aspiring pilots. “If you want to become a pilot you need to have a passion for this,” she says. “Because the sector is such that sometimes the jobs are there, sometimes there are no jobs — you really need to have that passion. You have to have patience.”