Career and Professional Highlights
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 South African Airways in 1988, aged 23, as one of their 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
2002 – 2005: Developer and Chair, Pilot's Association Mentorship Programme
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. A340 to Frankfurt.
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.
Looking the Part: First impressions count, and how you are perceived can influence your career. Here's how to present a professional image in uniform.
LINKS for aspiring 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
Highly recommended Aviation Ground School based in Cape Town
Requirements to join the South African Air Force (note: the SAAF should be considered a long-term career option)
2016: First SAA widebody flight operated by all women. A330 to Accra.
Powerful PA: Speaking well on the PA is important for airline pilots, especially women. Take the stress out of using the PA and connect with your passengers.
2018: First SAA intercontinental flight with all-female crew. A330 to Sao Paulo.