A Rare Chance Meeting of Two Pilots in Spanish Class

Two Female Pilots Meet In A Spanish Class

by Claudia, 2018 Spanish School Alumni

In 1998 at the ripe young age of 41 I earned my Private Pilot’s License thanks to my husband who bought me flying lessons because I wouldn’t stop talking about it! He started lessons and got his “Private” while I earned my Instrument Rating allowing me to fly in low visibility exclusively by the instruments in the plane. We purchase a single-engine Piper Cherokee and we flew around the east coast of the US – just for fun – someplace for lunch on Sunday, vacations and visiting my uncle (a retired Air Force and Commuter pilot).

Fast forward to 2017 when we decided to move from coastal NC (at sea level) to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico at 6000’. I had never flown in real mountains – kind of scary – so we were seriously considering selling our airplane…then a friend we met here in San Miguel introduced to an American flight instructor who lives in San Miguel. After 1.5 hours on Facetime with him, we decided to keep the plane and fly ourselves to Mexico!

After selling our house, cars and 98% of our stuff, on April 25, 2018 we loaded minimal bags and our 2 dogs in the plane and off we flew! Our new friend and mountain flying instructor met us near Houston and we headed for our new home. What an amazing experience flying over (and around) magnificent mountains and what an experience entering the country with masses of paperwork! But we made it and we love it here!

My husband is Mexican, and a US citizen, and for 23 years I escaped really learning Spanish – but no more! We live in Mexico now so I signed up for Warren Hardy Level 1 Spanish along with 40 or so other expats I didn’t know.

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Laurie & Claudia - Spanish Students - Pilots - Study Partners

One day on break a woman named Laurie walked up and asked me “Are you a pilot?”. This just doesn’t happen so, in a surprised tone, I said “Yes, how did you know?” It turns out she was in a friend’s gallery here in San Miguel and told the owner she was here to take Spanish at Warren Hardy and my friend said “I think my friend Claudia is in your class and she’s a pilot.”

Laurie is also a pilot and let me tell you how unique this is! Only about 5% of licensed pilots in the US are female (and 30+% of those are airline pilots. Are you getting how wild it was for 2 female private pilots to meet in the same Spanish class in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico? Life is an adventure and you meet people that you will never forget. Laurie will be back early next year for more Spanish and I can guarantee we will get together and talk about flying….maybe in Spanish!"