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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Zyola T Mix: Friday’s Fabulous Flyer

Zyola is not only a Private Pilot but she is a single mother with heart of gold, and the strength and determination to beat all odds. Her friend says she is “chronically positive."

Zyola served our country in the Army from 1989-1991, and then moved to the mainland to pursue her education with a double major in Astrophysics & Electrical Engineering at Colorado State University. But due to extremely unfortunate circumstances she had to leave the program early, and returned to Hawaii.

Nothing could knock Zyola down. She jumped back into school, and soon earned an associates degree in Electrical & Computer Technology from Heald in Honolulu, and then transferred to University of Hawaii to continue her major. She fell in love, got married and unfortunately was encouraged to quit her education once she became a wife. For six years she held an excellent job with BAE as an Electro-Mechanical/Optical design/drafter, for 14 years she supported her husband, before and during their marriage. Love and commitment are powerful that way.

Despite objections on the home front, Zyola was working on her instrument rating and life was good. But with faith and trust in the man she loved, she quit her job, stopped her flight training, and followed her heart and her husband’s ‘dream’ … this time to Portland for his career. Unfortunately his job was a ruse, and Zyola not only continued to be the bread winner, but also became pregnant.

The months that followed were nothing short of a nightmare… an abusive relationship, sleeping on the floor pregnant, a premature baby, and a mother’s fight for her daughter’s survival. Releasing all her assets… she bought full custody of her baby girl. Zyola was free to leave, and returned to Colorado to her nearest family on the mainland, and has spent the last year rebuilding a safe, stable and happy home for her daughter to thrive in.

Zyola says, “I tried to reconnect with my aviation soul via Twitter with amazing results. I was asked to join a podcast as the 'girl power' crew member and even got the chance to fly again. Right seat, but it reminded me how much I NEED to be in the sky.”

With her feet on the ground and her heart in the sky, her dream has always been towards her flying career and she has 115 hours of flight time to date.

Zyola plans to get back in the sky as pilot in command, and to return to Colorado State University to complete the degree she started over 18 years ago. She is also looking for a job with Boeing or Jeppesen, or perhaps Raytheon or Lockheed Martin. She tells me the challenge is great in Colorado because, “they have a strong crop of former military with active top secret clearances to choose from.” Zyola is not giving up. She says, “It'll happen but I'd like it to happen sooner.”

Zyola’s dream: “To be back home in Hawaii doing puddle jumps between my islands, in my own plane, with commercial, commuter, mercy & complimentary passengers.” Her ‘ultimate’ dream: “To be a Shuttle Pilot. I guess I'll have to shoot for a civilian space line pilot, now.”

Zyola’s pride and joy is her two year old “AMAZING” daughter. Who apparently takes after mom and loves airplanes. However, she has told her mother that she wants to fly helicopters. Kids… go figure. She’ll have to learn that helicopters don’t fly… they just beat the air into submission.

Zyola, Zyola, Zyola.... how can I resist starting each sentence with such a beautiful name, attached to a strong and determined woman? If anyone can offer her lead to a job, advice on her career, or inspiration… I know she would love to hear from you.

Check out Zyola’s Blog
Also on Skype (Supovadea) and Twitter (Supovadea)

Zyola, put that past behind you and look toward your future with optimism as you pursue your dreams. You have conquered obstacles that not many would have survived. I believe we get what we need in this life... to create the person we will become. Your experiences will serve you well. You have received a PhD in life… use it wisely, good things will come.

Happy Flying! Karlene


  1. Karlene said I should try to come up with some advice for you, but you're already so much stronger than I'll ever be! I overcame something big, yes, but I had no one to blame but myself - you're overcoming something you didn't cause, and that, to me, takes so much more guts and Positive Mental Attitude!

    Hold on to your dream, Zyola. You've got everything you need in that big ol' heart!

  2. Zyola, part of your story sounds so achingly familiar. Hang in there - it gets better and better now that you are free. If you decide on Raytheon, let me know - I have a few friends there!

  3. Mahalo Nate, Karlene and Kathy. I am humbled and honored. Reading my own story is quite surprising. I never really looked in the mirror like this. Mahalo Karlene for your support and belief.
    Nate, I've gone through a lot, but surprisingly I always feel like there are so many people who have it worse and that I don't really know what I'm doing. I guess you could say I feel like I'm "winging it."
    Kathy, I've applied at Raytheon several times in the past year. I'd love to work with them and would appreciate any suggestions you have. Some of my former coworkers from BAE have moved into various Raytheon locations around the country. From what they say, it sounds like an excellent fit for me.

  4. Chronically positive, I love her already! Sounds like we would get along fabulously! You find the most amazing people Karlene, how do you do it?

  5. Thank you Kathy~ I sent Zyola your email address. I knew you would be able to help her. Thanks!

  6. Thank you Heather! I found her on Twtitter. Of course you are responsible for that! :) Thank you!

  7. I admire this lady.....the comeback girl!

  8. Thanks Harry! She is the comeback girl. We love her!


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