As we celebrate Women’s History month, it’s important to recognize the many incredible women who have made significant contributions to various industries throughout history. Silver Air’s very own Joyce Merino is a skilled pilot and flight instructor who has broken barriers and achieved great successes in the male-dominated aviation industry. Despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles along the way, Joyce has become a role model for aspiring female pilots and a true inspiration to all.
Joyce’s love for travel inspired her career in aviation. Before becoming a pilot, she studied education and spent the first years of her professional career teaching at an elementary school and working in the foster care system. Although she loved what she did, she did not see either job as a sustainable career path. To help her make her next career decision, she put various destinations into a hat and drew one at random. She picked Guam and bought a one-way ticket without a plan in mind. She initially intended on staying there for only three months but stuck around for four years as a scuba instructor. Upon her return to the United States, her career in aviation began.
Joyce’s entire world changed after she went on a demo flight for aviation school. For the first time in her life, she had discovered a career path that would keep her motivated and passionate for the rest of her life. Since then, she has passed every check ride with flying colors. She’s earned an impressive number of certifications including private, instrument, commercial, commercial multi-engine, certified-flight instructor, certified instrument instructor, and multi-engine instructor. Her favorite part about flying is the focus that comes with it. She loves how flying allows her to leave all distractions on the ground and concentrate solely on flying. Other rewarding aspects of her career include visiting family and friends while also exploring new places! In addition, she has a deep appreciation for the challenging aspects of her job and recognizes that there’s always something new to be learned when it comes to a career in aviation.
Outside of work, Joyce enjoys scuba diving, hiking and being outdoors. In the summer, she loves snorkeling, freediving, and anything to do with the ocean! She loves flying so much that even on her days off, you’ll catch her in a plane sometimes. Flight instructing also takes up a large amount of her time. Teaching others to fly is another significant time commitment for her.
What’s next for Joyce? She would eventually like to move into a larger aircraft. Her end goal is to be a designated pilot examiner. She has heard many stories of intimidating pilot examiners and wants to change the narrative for future pilots. She also wants to continue inspiring more women to get into piloting and other careers in aviation.
Looking to follow in Joyce’s footsteps? She has some advice for you: “Talk to as many pilots as you can and explore your options! Speaking with various people in the aviation industry will allow you to make informed decisions based off the different information you get. Don’t get intimidated by external pressures or voices. If you have the dream of becoming a pilot or pursuing a career in aviation, whether it’s a hobby or a profession, you should do it for yourself.”Back to top