Her dream as a child was not exactly to be a pilot. She grew up with a particular interest in music, culture, and art. In fact, she considers herself a free soul, a person who always sought financial independence that would allow her to grow professionally and thus help her family.
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In the swing of life, Ilse Jauregui met a group of people who worked in aviation. They told him about the wonders of the sector, ranging from the possibility of seeing the world to earning an interesting salary. Not bad, thought Jáuregui, who hails from Mexico.
The decision to be a pilot was not so easy, because his taste for art opened up other opportunities for him: won a $40,000 scholarship to study painting in the United States.
“I love music, pop, rock, art and I also paint. I’m like a more relaxed soul than what I see in the (pilot’s) uniform. When I was a teenager I was going to the side of painting and In fact, I won a scholarship to go study in that sector in the United States,” recalls Jáuregui.
And he adds: “As (little) kids we all wanted to do something interesting, that was not monotonous, that would leave money and, above all, that we would feel proud of doing. Aviation complied with all this and – although I did not know if I was going to scary to do those maneuvers- I decided to enroll in an aviation school”, explains Jáuregui, in dialogue with EL TIEMPO.
So he decided to travel to USA to begin his studies because -he assures- the best academies are found in that country, in addition to having the possibility of completing the entire degree in English.
He studied in San Diego, California, and he says that thanks to his training in that country, today he has a job at an airline Mexico. “Knowing English gives you an important plus to get a job in this profession,” she recommends.
Jáuregui detailed what aviation schools are like: “Usually they are small and private airports. To begin, you receive classes on the ground, where they explain how an airplane works, its parts and, in general, all the basics that you must take into account before getting on. Then a series of sessions are carried out in a simulator where they make you do dangerous maneuvers to know how to react to possible engine damage, for example. Finally you get on a plane and you have to do all this but in real life.”
The most difficult part of this race -he continues with his story- is the practice that is carried out in real scenarios. “You always have a person by your side pressing you while you are performing emergency maneuvers. When you lose your fear of the plane, that you already know how to fly, the most difficult thing is to learn to make safe decisions because you have the responsibility of 200 lives,” says Jáuregui.
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wants to be captain
Ilse started her professional career at Interjet, a Mexican airline that ceased operations in 2020. It made its first flight there, which went to a national destination. “I was very nervous but at the same time excited. I felt proud and my uniform looked very top. It was a beautiful day,” she recalls.
Currently, she works for another airline in Mexico, flies a Airbus A320 and has had the opportunity to travel to United States, Cuba and Colombia. Although it usually flies within the Aztec country.
His position is first officer, which in other words means being co-pilot. These always fly to the right of the captain and are distinguished by the fact that their uniforms, generally on the shoulders, have three lines. The captains have four.
“We co-pilots do absolutely everything the captain does: we know how to fly the plane and we’re actually there in case the captain goes down, has a heart attack, whatever. I can fully continue the flight safely. The only difference is that, because he (the captain) has more experience, and has already passed other exams, he takes charge of everything legal. I mean, he signs the flight plans. As for work, we do the same, but in terms of responsibility, he has the final word and I am the one who helps him make those decisions,” says Ilse.
His main objective is to become a pilot and for this he must complete -according to Mexican regulations- 3,000 flight hours. He also, he affirms, he must comply with a series of “very complicated tests that the airline and the Government of Mexico give me.”
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life as a pilot
Her life as a pilot has been a constant personal discovery that surprises and satisfies her every day. He acknowledges that it has been gratifying because he has been able to meet countless people and cultures. “Instead of committing to a Mexican, I did it to a Venezuelan. Since you’re everywhere, it’s been incredible. The best things in my life have come from being a pilot,” she explains.
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However, in a job that can be strenuous. “Sometimes in a single day I go to four different destinations. They can be beach, desert, snow and then I return to Guadalajara (Mexico). We also sleep outside a lot. My hours are from eight to 16 hours and on several days, generally, I’m not going home. But everything is very well planned: they send you your role (work plan) and you already know what you’re going to do for the month. In addition, the airline tries to make changes as little as possible so that you can spend Christmas with your family and plan the days off, which can be six days a month,” says Jáuregui.
He adds that economically it is a viable profession: “In Mexico, on average and according to what I have searched on the internet, the average salary (of a pilot) is around 40,000 Mexican pesos per month (9 million pesos, approximately). With that you can live perfectly and support a family. Even if you do overtime, you get paid more.
Her personal goal, says the pilot, is “to become a captain, remain happy with the life I lead and be able to provide for my family.”
CAMILO ANDRES PEÑA CASTAÑEDA
Subeditor Today’s Life