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Five questions: Nancy Bradshaw

Fly good, don’t suck

Video blogger (vlogger) Nancy Bradshaw chronicles her life as a regional airline pilot (in October she was furloughed because of traffic declines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic) on YouTube, encouraging others to learn to fly, continue on their aviation journey, and provide insight and inspiration.
Five Questions

Her message—“Fly Good, Don’t Suck”—is a fun kick in the pants for her viewers, and for herself. She finds the positive in most everything she experiences, including this recent layoff. She is an airline transport pilot, commercial ASEL and helicopter pilot, CFI, CFII, and advanced ground instructor for airplanes. She hopes to also get instructor certificates for helicopters. A native of the Netherlands, Bradshaw was flying the Embraer ERJ145 until her layoff.

How did you get started in aviation? I started as an aerospace engineer (see “Career Spotlight: Brain Power,” page 53), I have my master’s in aerospace engineering with a specialization in aerodynamics and I worked on the F–16 and F–35 platforms. In 2015 I took the leap to start flying for a living and became a flight instructor. In 2019 I finally made it to the right seat of a regional airline as a first officer.

What were your biggest challenges? During flight training it was talking to ATC. English is my third language and it was definitely a challenge to learn aviation lingo on the radio. Right now, it’s the pandemic. I am furloughed and the company I fly for will shut its doors at the end of this year. But, when one door closes, another one opens, so I am looking forward to new possibilities!

Favorite aircraft? Huey UH–1. I’ve been super fortunate to have flown this iconic helicopter in one of my pilot jobs I had before going to the airlines.

Your favorite aviation activity? Flying things. I love being a pilot—give me an airplane or a helicopter and I’ll fly it!

Advice for students? Be patient and stay positive. Enjoy your aviation journey and celebrate every milestone.

Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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