“My advice for girls interested in aviation and flying float planes is to enjoy the ride. Some days will be hard and busy, but it’s the little moments that make it the best industry to be in.”
Congratulations to pilot Olivia Kunze, recipient of the first annual Chris Holmes Memorial Scholarship at Fort Langley Air! The scholarship for float pilots supports young pilots that want to improve their career opportunities in aviation by expanding to floats.
Olivia is a commercial pilot, currently working on her Multi/IFR and her BBA in Airway Management at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Olivia’s work ethic and passion for aviation embody the spirit of the Chris Holmes Scholarship for float pilots and we are proud to have the opportunity to contribute and participate in her training and career path. Olivia plans on working on her float rating with Fort Langley Air early this fall.
What made you want to be a pilot, and what drew you to floatplanes specifically?
I have wanted to be a pilot since I was quite young. I would say it started with watching the planes fly over my family’s farm – I can recall, even at a very young age, watching planes practice and conduct aerobatic manoeuvre above our property. From there I fell more and more in love with aviation as I visited airshows and meet more people involved in the industry.
To fly floatplanes has always been a goal of mine since I fell in love with the aviation world. This goal came from my dad and his love for the water and fishing. Since I was the only one of my siblings to also enjoy fishing, many of my childhood adventures involved being out on the water and more often than not watching the floatplanes take-off from the ocean waters and dock into the inlets that were our current fishing spots. This is a reason why I love floatplanes and their ability to be connected to the water and all of the joy the water has to offer.
What does this scholarship do for you and how do you think it will impact your life?
For me, this scholarship will allow me to fulfill a goal that I have set before myself since a young age and will allow me not only enjoy flying floats in my personal time but also gives me the opportunity to work professionally in the floatplane industry opening numerous doors and new experiences for my future.
Where do you see yourself down the road after you have completed your training?
After completing my training I hope to apply for jobs. I am working towards getting a pilot job that involves building my float hours and experiences. After more float flying, I plan to work towards building my flight hours and work towards flying AT802 or CL215 at Conair Aerial Firefighting Group.
We are seeing more women becoming bush pilots these days, do you have any advice for a young girl with dreams of flying floats?
My advice for girls interested in aviation and flying float planes is to enjoy the ride. Some days will be hard and busy, but it’s the little moments that make it the best industry to be in. It is an industry that will continually encourage you to grow and learn.