“Tovot LeTais” (Hebrew for “the best women needed in the cockpit”) “Tovot LeTais” (Hebrew for “the best women needed in the cockpit”) About 300 female flight-academy candidates were invited for a special convention at the Tel-Aviv museum last Thursday.

Shani Pais.| Translation: Nikolai Avrutov

The convention opened with a discussion of female admission to the flight academy till this day, and about the Air Force’s goal to increase the number of women at the flight training courses. Then, admission procedures were explained in detail: online motivation-questioner, testing at the recruitment office, medical tests, psychological assessment, simulations, and last but not least – a trail period which includes 6 field days at the Hazerim base.

During high-school, students begin their interaction with the IDF. Through various interviews and tests student’s abilities are identified, and they are then offered a choice of several units and roles where they can serve. Only top students receive an invitation to try out for the air-force flight school.

Maj. Noa Herpez, head of the air-crew division at the recruitment office, who organized the event, says: “unlike boys, in the past, girls were not invited to come and apply to the flight school. Only those who came by themselves were allowed to apply. Now, we extend the invitation to every girl with the right credentials, and by doing so, we hope to expand the number of female flight cadets. This is a tremendous social change”.

A panel of current female-pilots was presented to the candidates: Capt. Naama, a navigator at the “Scorpions” squadron, Lt. Dana, a flight engineer serving at the “International” squadron, Capt. Tuli, a transportation pilot in Sdeh-Dov airport, and Shira, a flight cadet presently at the advanced stages of combat-helicopter pilot training. Each one told about her experience of becoming part of the air force, and then answered multiple questions asked by the candidates.

“This convention demonstrates the air-force’s interest in female involvement and admission to the flight academy. It demonstrates that contrary to the common belief, girls can in fact become pilots”, tells shira, who began her flight training three years ago.

One of the candidates said at the end of the convention: “I learned a great deal about the admission requirements. Now I really know what to expect, and see that it is indeed possible, especially after we’ve met with the current female-pilots. I feel highly motivated and am looking forward to try for the flight-academy”.