Like a lot of countries, Bulgaria can also be proud of successful people, especially women. For decades women are fighting for equal rights along with men and today they have achieved this in almost every country in the world. One of the very first notable event in our history is women’ position in the aviation. In the last twenty years the number of women involved in aviation has stealy increased, as in all other working spheres. Women pilots, though, represent only six percent in this profession. A lot of men, though, confess that they will feel more safe if the airplane they fly with is managed by a woman.
Maria Atanasova is the first Bulgarian woman to become commander of an airliner. She signed up for a course of motor gliding, but could not enter the military air school in Dolna Mitropolia, because women were not admitted to be trained there. At her insistence regulations were amended and she graduated in 1950 together with 12 other girls. Maria Atanasova was the only female pilot in the world to land heavy airliner in extreme conditions at London airport „Heathrow”.
The first woman ever taking part in a military flight was the Bulgarian Rayna Kasabova. At 15, during the First Balkan War in 1912, she joined the Bulgarian Air Force and flew above Edirne with Stefan Kalinov on the board of „Voasen” to throw out propaganda leaflets in Turkish and French which were calling people to cease fire and bloodshed. This historic event took place at the end of October 1912.
The first flight in Bulgaria of a woman with glider was carried out by Maria Stefanova – Markova. She took her first test for a glider pilot on the 24 July 1938 on the airplane Zögling 33.
Emilia Garbova (the third from the left to the right on the picture below) was the first woman pilot of a military jet.
The first female pilot to fly alone on a jet aircraft was Maria Bogdanova Nedyalkova. This event in Bulgarian aviation took place on the 4th of September, 1947. She was followed by Teophana Crill and Dora Vasileva – Mochkova.
Valentina Tzvetkova was the only woman leader of a governmental „Falcon” in the world.
Brave, beautiful, no ordinary bulgarian women who left a sign in the sky above us.
Author: Savina Danailova