Today, we are pleased to introduce the first woman to crack the glass ceiling in Thailand, as an offshore helicopter pilot.
Meet Chatuphorn (Pao) Phuangchingngam from Bangkok, Thailand. Pao has a B.A. in Business English from Rajabhat Suan Dusit University and a license as an Airline Transportation Helicopter Pilot (ATPL-H) from Heli-collage Flight Traning School, in British Columbia, Canada.
Thirteen years ago, Pao cracked the glass ceiling when she became the first woman in Thailand to become an offshore helicopter pilot. For Captain Pao, flying grants her both happiness and freedom that fulfills her life. “Doing what you want to do is happiness. Doing what you love is freedom. In my case, it is an even combination of both! Flying over the water is so peaceful and being able to see across the horizon, with a bird’s eye view of the rigs, is an incredibly special sight.”
Captain Pao flies offshore workers to and from rigs and platforms in Southeast Asia. She works hard to keep her crew and passengers safe. A memorable experience she’s had, occurred on a windy day when her helicopter needed maintenance after landing on a rig.
“Once we had helicopter unserviceable and stuck on a rig. We had to transfer to a different rig to board a second helicopter, in order to return to base. Those transfers strengthened my character as I had to stand on the [cargo] net alongside the rig, to the supply boat, on a very windy day!”
Since obtaining the position as a helicopter pilot, a few more women have followed in Captain Pao’s footsteps. Encouraging even more women to follow suit, Pao asserts, “Be committed and dedicated to learning. Develop new skills and knowledge, whenever you can, for the position you are aiming for.”
Thank you, Pao. It has been a pleasure to meet you and we are in awe of your accomplishments! Stay safe out there!
The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to propel women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water. Contact Women Offshore today: firstname.lastname@example.org.