In a move that surprised everyone, Middle East Airline’s first female pilot Rola Hoteit managed to land at London’s Heathrow airport in a professional and spectacular manner, despite the bad weather that prevented most airplanes from making a successful landing.
In this regard, a video was posted by the Middle East Airlines Fan Club on facebook showing Rola Hoteit, who is the airline’s first female pilot, touching down in London in “heavy crosswinds,” as the club’s Facebook page stated.
“If they had ever asked you about MEA pilots, then there is no need to answer them,” the Facebook post said.
In the video, Hoteit’s Airbus A330 appears swaying at the winds lurching it sidewards then taking it off-course for some scary seconds as it edges close to the ground. The airplane looks skillfully maneuvered back on track on time for the wheels to come into contact with the tarmac.
As the video was posted on Facebook showing the captain capabilities, a hashtag captain Rola Hoteit beating the impossible #captainrolahoteitbeatingtheimpossible started circulating the social media platforms.
Captain Rola Hoteit is the first female airline Captain in Lebanon. Her story began in 1993 while completing her BS in Mathematics at the American University of Beirut.
Back then, her colleague showed her a newspaper that had a sarcastic joke about MEA recruiting also female pilots, “Women cannot drive a car. How will they be able to fly an airplane?” The gender-bias message, meant to be funny yet was not, defied her into action.
She ran to compete, unintimated whatsoever by the two thousand other applicants. Hoteit proved herself to her society and her country that a woman can achieve equally to men whatever the cultural restrictions and assumptions.
At the time, only nine applicants were accepted. Hoteit was one of them, becoming an inspiration and an encouragement to her Lebanese peers. Captain Hoteit led her first single trip in 2010, heading to the Jordanian capital Amman. Onboard among the passengers was Former Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
Rola Hoteit not only entered Lebanon history as its first-ever female pilot but she also inspired four of her countrywomen to follow suit, and they did, proven their efficiency to pilot a commercial plane when they joined the MEA piloting crew a few months ago.