Esther Gayatri Saleh, the only female test pilot in Indonesia
- In Features
- Post 15 January 2017
- By Maryati/Ani Hasanah
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INDONESIAN WOMEN 15.01.2017
Esther Gayatri Saleh, is currently the only female test pilot in Indonesia. There are various jobs that are closely associated with men. One of them is a test pilot . Esther must first flight using the aircraft that have been assembled. This job is often attributed as a male job because of a high risk related to safety . Captain Esther Gayatri Saleh, is the only woman who became chief test pilot at PT Dirgantara Indonesia aircraft manufacturing plant..
Esther Gayatri Saleh initially worked as a journalist in the palace during President Soeharto administration. Her introduction to the world of aerospace activities began when she photographed Defense Command Region in Territorial Military Commander Air Force. She then boardeda CASA plane which collapsed during a landing in soft ground. She joint the pushing of the plane and felt a certain excitement. Her acquaintance with planes continued while on duty in Kalimantan. At that time, somebody of the helicopter company explained the different functions of aircraft components to her. It was then that she was considering aspiration to become a pilot.
Initially, Esther Gayatri Saleh’s ambition to be a pilot was not sanctioned by both her parents. However, she did not flinch. She signed up to a pilot schoo, l Sawyer School of Aviation in Phoenix, in the United States. Esther originally intended to enroll into pilot schools in Indonesia, but she was not accepted due to lack of height. In America, she was actually accepted by the results of medical check ups and competency. Graduated from a pilot school didn’t direct Esther career smoothly. Not many people are familiar with female pilot. Upon her return from the United States, she was trusted by former President Habibie to become a pilot in PT Dirgantara Indonesia in 1984. Esther once presented a plane assembled by PT Dirgantara Indonesia, a CASA 212 before the Philippine Government. For four months she travelled from the north to the southern Philippines which was in a semi-war condition.
Esther Gayatri Saleh has become a pilot for 31 years with at least 6,500 flying hours. Undergoing a perilous job, there are a variety of interesting stories about her experiences. Once her plane fell from an altitude of 10,000 to 5,000 feet. After the flight, she evaluated why it happened. All the challenges and dangers she faced with joy. For her, being a pilot is not just a job, but rather a vision and God's call. Working environment dominated by men also did not make Esther shriveled. Instead, she was challenged to prove his competence on par with men. The most memorable experience she experienced was when performing maneuvers with the aircraft engine turned off. Despite the dangers, the work must be done to become a briefing for pilots or aircraft users. Although in charge of testing, Esther always follows the stages of aircraft manufacturing from the beginning. She loves her job. During the manufacturing process, Esther helps and provides inputs. After the first flight test aircraft, Esther provides training for pilots in order to fly the new aircraft safely and comfortably. Esther Gayatri Saleh often becomes the topic of conversation because she is the only woman in Asia who works as a test pilot.