"What is still fascinating and beautiful: If you have thin fog layers and pull up the plane – then suddenly the sun comes," says the pilot Gabriele Chanel castle in the ZEIT-ONLINE podcast Fresh to work, "But flying is not that special for me anymore."
Gabriele Chanel Burg, born and raised in Saarland in the mid-sixties, is one of the first and to date very few female drivers of her generation. Since Burg took part in a sightseeing flight as a little girl, she says in a podcast that she had the dream of flying and wanted to become a pilot. She says: "At that time, women did not fly any airplanes – there was not even a female pilot in the field, and Lufthansa did not train women as pilots when I graduated from high school in 1983."
That's why Burg first studied literature, linguistics and theater studies in Munich – and then completed a pilot training course at a private flying school. These included that she had to work as a postman, bus and tram driver and as a colleague of a money transport company, says Burg in the podcast. Her first flight was in a small aircraft, a Cessna 142, on the side of a flight instructor. Today, Burg flies large passenger aircraft for a German low-cost airline: "I fly everything to the Canaries or Egypt."
However, Burg said that the profession has increased significantly in recent years: "We used to fly to the Canaries and stood there for an hour, and after all, we could have a coffee in the sun." Today everything is fast, fast 'Fast, and we have to move on immediately.' That's too bad because she does not see anything of the world, says Burg. But at the same time it also has its advantages: "At the beginning of my career, I was often in hotels, but that gets boring, I like being at home."
Even though her way to the cockpit was exhausting, Burg says today: "It was my calling and a good decision – even though today I do not think every day: Wow, great!"