Home Features Esther Gayatri Saleh, the only female test pilot in Indonesia

Esther Gayatri Saleh, the only female test pilot in Indonesia


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.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Business Address

Jl. Merdeka Barat, 4-5, 4th Floor,

Jakarta 10110.

Phone: +62 21 3456 811,

Fax: +62 21 3500 990

email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.