Jane started flying in Cape Town in 1982 and qualified for her commercial pilot's licence in 1984, then gained experience flying for Namib Air (now Air Namibia) in SWA-Namibia between 1985-1988 during the "Bush War".
Jane joined her present airline in 1988, aged 23, as one of its first women pilots. She had many proud moments with female firsts in South African aviation, but also made mistakes finding her way as a woman in a man's world.
She had to learn for herself how to overcome the challenges, which grew with her in her career. As a speaker, she shares what she learnt from her experiences, with meaning for everyone in this transforming world.
1993: First female pilot in South Africa qualified to fly the Boeing 747-400
2001:B737 captain. Commander of first SA all-female Boeing crew
L-R: Jolyn Visser, Ntombi Hewu, Emma Nel, Jane, Bessie Nkwe, F/O Merel van der Merwe
2002 – 2005: Developer and Chair, Pilot's Association Mentorship Programme
L-R: Wayne Westoby, Dr Bongani Khumalo (former Transnet chair), Jane, Eric Manentsa
2007: A340 captain. First woman pilot in South Africa to command long-range international flights
2013: First South African all-female long-range flight deck crew
L-R: Jane, SFO Taryn Hochstrasser - Maharajh, SFO Jocindy Mars
RESOURCES - Lady Pilots
Assertive communication for women captains - and leaders - in a man's world.
"When the Honeymoon is Over" by Captain Jean Harper.
Reprinted with permission of the International Society of Women Airline Pilots.
Jane cannot offer advice on flying training or finding employment because the industry has changed too much since she learnt to fly. These links may be useful to prospective professional pilots, both male and female; the challenges of financing one's flying and finding a first job apply to all.
The SAA Cadet Pilot programme is not currently operating.
Comprehensive advice on a flying career and choosing a flight school