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Andrea Díaz, First Woman Pilot in the Colombian Air Force

For the first time in Colombian history, a woman pilots a C-130 Hercules from the Colombian Air Force.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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Lieutenant Colonel Andrea Silvana Díaz Bohórquez, piloted her first flight onboard the C-130 Hercules, which is a military aircraft that transports the Colombian Air Force. Until Andrea’s recent achievement, the aircraft had only been piloted by men. For many generations, the crew from the Colombian Air Force had been exclusively integrated by men.  

Andrea who has been 22 years in the Colombian Air Force and is 42 years old, mentioned in a recent interview, that to pilot this type of aircraft, you have to go through very intensive training. Díaz, who was born in the city of Barranquilla, but grew up in Bogotá, has a record of 1600 hours of flight. She also mentioned proudly, that this is the first time a woman is allowed to pilot a Hercules aircraft that can transport 90 passengers or 64 paratroopers. She finally claimed she had to assume a great responsibility in her role as pilot of the C-130 Hercules.

By the year 1997, women had the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities as pilots and as commanders in the different missions that are assigned to the country’s air fleet. The Colombian Air Force’s staff is composed of 35% of women, among which 15% work in flight, either as pilots or as navigators, air defense, or as remotely operated aircraft operators. Lieutenant Colonel Andrea Silvana Díaz Bohórquez makes part of the third generation of women pilots in the Colombian Air Fleet. She entered Military School of Aviation Marco Fidel Suárez in the year 1999 as a member of the course 75 officials, with the dream of honoring all those women who had fought for their country.

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Today she has accomplished her dream by debuting as pilot of the C-130 Hercules, a heavy military aircraft that performs personnel transport missions, carries a load, participates in missions of humanitarian aid, does firefighting, and can land on unprepared runways far from the national territories. The C-130 Hercules aircraft, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Díaz, took off from the ramp on the military transport air command – CATAM, heading to Cali and later to the Camilo Daza International Airport, located in Cúcuta. The flight lasted over six hours, in which Diaz, has the opportunity to show the discipline and expertise that she had acquired in many years working as a pilot.

The aircraft crew was also integrated by a female official dedicated to flight, that carries out the functions of a navigator, setting precedents and opening new opportunities to those women who dream of making part of the Colombian Airforce Crew. When interviewed, Lieutenant Colonel Díaz, highlighted the intensive training she had to make to assume her current position as a pilot, but she mentioned she felt happy and proud since the C-130 Hercules is an aircraft that brings joy, hope, and peace to the Colombian population. She recognized that being a pilot and a mother of two is not easy but her family is her biggest achievement and has always been her greatest source of love and support.

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