Meet Bethany Hernandez. She is 22 years old and is a helicopter pilot and a flight instructor. Only 5% of pilots in the world today are female and she is one of them.


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My name is Alex Zyuzikov and I’m a wedding/portrait photographer from San Francisco. I first learned about Bethany when I was researching helicopter companies to take me up for some landscape photos above the city. Bethany answered and after doing a bit more research I stumbled upon her Instagram. The first photo she ever posted immediately jumped out at me. It showed her smiling inside a tiny toy helicopter at a children’s play area with a caption that read: “Give me a couple of years to make my dreams come true.”

What an amazing story, I thought! To go from that to being a fully licensed pilot and a flight instructor to boot! At that point I couldn’t wait to meet her. Being a photographer, my job is to be a storyteller and this was definitely one that needed to be told.

What Bethany did took a lot of hard work, but she kept her chin up and charged up the hill until one day she finally realized how far she’d come. Aside from typical difficulties most of us face us young adults she also had to prove that she was better than the stereotypes. She says that the fact that she was a female did create more than a few uncomfortable situations in the past. Instead of discouraging her it motived her to be better than everybody thought she would be (or could become). It made her stronger and helped her pull through.

“I finally earned a bit of respect around here as all of my students these days are guys. It’s pretty cool to swing my hair around every now and then” she jokes when asked about being a flight instructor.

Now that she’s well past her 1,000 hours in the air milestone, the most rewarding thing for her is seeing the results of her hard work from up in the sky and all the people she’s met along the way.

Chase those dreams, Bethany! The sky is NO limit for you!

More info: redspherestudios.com | Instagram

In 2012, Bethany posted this picture saying: “Give me a couple years to make my dreams come true”

Image credits: Bethany Hernandez

Today she’s a 22-year-old helicopter pilot and a flight instructor

Only 5% of pilots in the world today are female and she is one of them

It took a lot of hard work, but she kept her chin up and charged up the hill until one day she finally realized how far she’d come

Aside from typical difficulties most of us, young adults, face, she also had to prove that she was better than the stereotypes

She says that the fact that she was a female did create more than a few uncomfortable situations in the past

Instead of discouraging her, it motived her to be better than everybody thought she would be (or could become). It made her stronger and helped her pull through

“I finally earned a bit of respect around here as all of my students these days are guys. It’s pretty cool to swing my hair around every now and then”

Bethany doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon either and plans to expand on her skills in new and exciting ways (and pick up a few new ones along the way such as riding sports bikes!)

Here are some pictures that I took during our flight. Flying high above San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge from the helicopter

San Francisco from above

Here is our quick video interview with Bethany: