|Chinese pilot Chen Jinlan was honored with the title of March 8th Red-Banner Holder after becoming the country's only female captain of a Y-9 transport aircraft. [scol.com.cn]|
Chinese pilot Chen Jinlan was honored with the title of March 8th Red-Banner Holder after becoming the country's only female captain of a Y-9 transport aircraft.
Chen, 40, has been flying in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force for 21 years, accruing over 4,500 hours in the air. She has commanded numerous models of airplanes in her career.
Chen became a student pilot in 1997 after a passing a series of rigorous selection stages. She was one of only 22 females selected at the time.
Chen trained in aviation school for 20 months, during which time she mastered theoretical knowledge and underwent tough physical training.
The Y-9 transporter weighs 60 tons. It is a medium-sized tactical transport aircraft developed and built entirely in China.
It is mainly used for transport, air drops and rescue. It can travel over 5,600 kilometers and airdrop 96 fully armed paratroopers.
In 2015, Chen participated in the assessment to become a Y-9 captain for the first time. She failed the landing test.
She encouraged herself to withstand the blow after failing, however. She increased the intensity of her physical training to enhance the strength of her legs and upper limbs and practiced her piloting skills harder.
After three months, Chen passed the second assessment.
"People in the aircraft trust me with their lives. I must not be afraid," said Chen.
Chen rarely has time to spend with her family. Her military camp is in suburb of Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan province. Her son attends a school in the downtown area, and her husband is on active service elsewhere.
At 40, Chen has reached the golden age of being a pilot. She will do all she can to devote herself to flying career, she says.
(Source: scol.com.cn / Translated and edited by Women of China)
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