Passion gives mum wings

2008-06-27 00:00

Annie Boon is flying high.

Boon (39) is the only woman in South Africa who can fly a Russian Yak 52 aeroplane. She will show off her skills when she takes to Durban’s skies for the Ecko Unltd Yak Formation Week. Boon will be part of a 10-member team performing ahead of the House of Paint Virginia Airshow on July 12 and 13.

Her passion for flying started in 2001 when she started helicopter lessons, which for a short period satisfied her need for an adrenaline rush.

“I always wanted to get my licence and decided that it was time to get on with it. In 2005, I won a raffle and the prize was an aircraft and a fixed wing licence,” she said.

A month later, Boon secured her licence, but felt she needed more. “I never felt comfortable in a fixed wing, so I tried acrobatic flying to build my confidence. I got hooked on the adrenaline rush and immediately knew that this is what I wanted to do,” she said.

Boon formed a club with other Yak pilots in Jo’burg and participated in the 2007 Virginia Airshow where they performed acrobatics. “The guys told me that I was making history at the show, but it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to fly and have a blast … ” she said.

Her passion for flying is evident as she describes the work and dedication needed to be in the team.

Having grown up as a “tomboy”, Boon said it was easy to fit into the male team. “It’s a very male-dominated world up there, but I’m very proud of myself. I absolutely love it … ” she said.

When she is not flying, Boon is running after her twins (4) and helping her teenage son with his homework. “My kids think it’s wonderful … The great part is that they [are] also in love with flying. My son wants to learn how to fly as well,” she said.

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