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March Celebrates Women in Ag Aviation
March 1, 2020
Written by AgAir Update
Laura Lawrence, a Saskatchewan Aerial Applicator member was recently interviewed for AgAir Update March edition that Celebrates Women in Ag Aviation. Laura has been flying for Provincial Airways based out of Moose Jaw and has recently joined the SAAA board.
When it comes to aviation, it always helps if a parent is your aviation mentor. Canadian ag-pilots Laura Lawrence's father flew in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a flight instructor in the PC-9. He was a pilot for the Canadian Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. He later became a captain fir WestJet. While Laura was growing up, she often flew "right seat" with him.
Laura got her chance at an aviation career by working at a local ag operators airport on the ground crew while earning her Commercial Pilots License and later flying a C-172 for aerial photography work. She decided to become an ag pilot and attended Battlefords Airspray school for her training. She started her first season in a C-188 Ag Wagon in 2017. in 2018, she flew the AT-401 and now has thee seasons completed.
Laura agrees on something that is very common for women flying as in: Growers arrive at the airstrip and ask her,
"Where is the pilot?" and she replies, "I'm the pilot."
Growers feel a little embarrassed and surprised. They are not used to seeing a woman flying a spray plane. It’s only a matter of time and the surprised faces are replaced with a more natural look, "Hi aviatrix! Are you the pilot spraying my field today?"