On the19th of October, at 19:30 in the show bTV The Reporters, Gabriela Naplatanova and the cameraman Ivan Filchev discovered the dramatic story of the women pilots, removed from military aviation fifty years ago and what happened when they have returned. The reporters showed how this extremely stressful profession, that requires a huge dose of responsibility and selflessness, can be conquered by the ladies. The material "Flying Girls" is an experiment that tracks the torn intergenerational line between women aviators. The team of bTV The Reporters arranged a meeting between the women future fighter - pilots and the first and the only woman pilot and instructor of a jet - the retired Lieut. Emilia Garbova. Viewers can see the exclusive footage from the first flights of airmen and women to enjoy the unique video from the cockpit of the MiG 29 and L 39.
In the last two decades, the number of women involved in the aviation has steadily increased, as in all other working spheres. Women pilots, though, represent only six percent in this profession. At the first Annual International Women in Aviation Conference in 1990, participants recognized the need to train more women for pilots. Following a number of successful conferences, Women in Aviation International (WAI) was established as a professional, non-profit organization in 1994.
Example that women are in no way inferior to men in this area is Marina Popovich (on the left picture above), nicknamed "Madame MIG ." Fighting for her dream of becoming a military pilot, she convinced the leaders to allow her to train, although at that time the Soviet Army had no female pilots. She is the only pilot in the world who achieved 101 world records with aircrafts of different types.
Another legend in the aviation is Amelia Earhart (on the picture in the middle and above) who was the idol of many young American girls. She was the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Maria Atanasova (on the right picture above) is the first Bulgarian woman to become commander of an airliner. She signed up for a course of motor gliding, but could not enter the military air school in Dolna Mitropolia, because women were not admitted to be trained there. At her insistence regulations were amended and she graduated in 1950 together with 12 other girls. In 1952 Atanasova became an instructor, and then she finished school for fighter pilots. From 1953 to 1974 the Bulgarian flied as a pilot and commander of the "LI -2 ", " IL -14 ", " IL- 18", " TU -134 " on the routes of the BA " Balkan". In the beginning she took internal flights in business aviation, and later on the international ones. Maria Atanasova was the only female pilot in the world to land heavy airliner in extreme conditions at London airport "Heathrow".
The first woman ever taking part in a combat mission was the Bulgarian Raina Kassabova. This historic event took place at the end of October 1912.
The first flight in Bulgaria of a woman with glider was carried out by Maria Stefanova - Markova. She took her first test for a glider pilot on the 24 July 1938 on the airplane Zögling 33.
Emilia Garbova (the third from the left to the right on the picture below) was the first woman pilot of a military jet.
The first female pilot to fly alone on a jet aircraft was Maria Bogdanova Nedyalkova. This event in Bulgarian aviation took place on the 4th of September, 1947. She was followed by Teophana Crill and Dora Vasileva - Mochkova.
Valentina Tzvetkova was the only woman leader of a governmental "Falcon" in the world.
More information about women pilots:
Stories of some fameous women aviators
International Society of Women Airline Pilots
"Women pilot" magazine
Detailed chronology of the history of women in aviation