Maria Fagerstrom
With her dazzling smile, crystal-green eyes, long blonde hair, 25–year-old Maria Fagerström could be mistaken for a fashion model, but strolling down the catwalk is not her style. Maria prefers a different type of runway, one for taking off on her adventures in the sky, since she chose to become a pilot.

You could say flying is in her DNA, because Maria’s father was a pilot too. At the age of 18, Maria applied to aviation school in Sweden, and two years later, she had her pilot’s license.

The most common question people ask Maria is how to become a pilot. Or, more specifically, how do you know you want to be a pilot? Every pilot has a different reason for being drawn to the skies, so according to Maria, it takes some self-discovery.  Maria’s advice is as follows: Do an internet search for “flight school near me.” Then you can book a session and see how you feel after you spend 30 minutes cruising in the clouds.

A world traveler like Maria has lots of memorable moments in her life, but one stands out above the rest. “My shining moment was when I fell in love with aviation and the world,” said Maria.

She vividly remembers flying with her dad as a child. As the ground became smaller and the sky grew bigger, Maria knew they shared the same dream. Soaring above the Earth felt like home. “From that very moment, I’ve had a set goal in my mind,” Maria recalled. “I wanted to grow up and be just like my dad.”

Today, Maria is a commercial airline pilot. “I’m living the life I’ve always dreamt of,” she said. “It makes me incredibly happy.”

Maria’s passion for flying is evident. Being a pilot suits her to a “T.” But what if she wasn’t a pilot. What would she be? “An air traffic controller,” said Maria with a smile.

Her keen eyes do far more than safely maneuver an aircraft. They’ve given her purpose. For Maria, being a pilot is not only about the journey, but also the destination.  

Learn more about Maria Fagerström’s life in aviation here. Do you have a Shining Moment to share? Let us know in the comments section on the Clear Eyes® Facebook page.