Fatima Mušić was the first female pilot in Bosnia and Herzegovina, judging by the data of the Air Club Sarajevo. She passed training back in 1950.
However, Mušić was not the only one. Many young ladies from BiH and the region had dreams about flying.
One of them, the then 17-year-old Vesna Hoerr, managed to win her parents over with tears and begging and got a permission to attend the Military School of Expert Workers in Rajlovac.
It is needless to mention that back at the time the career of a female pilot was not possible at all. Nevertheless, it all started with an immeasurable desire of one girl from Kotor Varoš to become a pilot.
“Great love for the sky and planes brought me to Rajlovac, where I attended school from 1986 until 1988, department of flight electrical mechanic, where I got an opportunity to join the Air Club Sarajevo.
Theoretical training and exam went without a problem. It was a little harder with flying training. I remember Sundays when I would go early from Rajlovac with a sandwich in my hands, then on a tram to Ilidža, and then by foot through a settlement I do not remember how it was called and eventually following the runway of the sport airport to the hangar. I would usually have three to four take offs approximately ten minutes long, but I would stay until late afternoon, sharing not only the joy of flying, but also other obligations such as maintenance of contact over radio station. That radio station was more like a prehistoric box…”, pilot Vesna Hoerr began her story.
Vesna does not remember how many members were in her team, probably several locals from Rajlovac and Sarajevo. However, she does remember that she was the only girl and that they were taking great care of her.
“To my deepest regret, the war took my membership card for the Air Club Sarajevo, the flying book and all pictures from that period, as well as many beautiful memories of that flying year at the airport in Sarajevo. One small diary remained, which reminded me that I passed training on Blanik L-13 YU5334 which was pulled by Piper YU DCI P-18. The most amazing flight of my life was when I was flying at 1.500 meters in an aircraft with the instructor Žuja and experienced the loop, tailspin and immelman for the first time in my life. I will never forget that flight which lasted for 37 minutes.
My pilot training brought me to the cover page of the flight magazine Wings of the Army. Unfortunately, end of school and the school break brought the end of flying. There was no time to crown the training with a pilot permit,” Hoerr explained.
Years that came were turbulent. After finding a job in Zagreb along with studying Electrical Engineering, the war came and she moved to Germany. After Germany, she went to America. Fight for bare life, countries and languages changed, but the dream about playing in the clouds remained.
“Knowing that Fatima Mušić became the first female pilot in BiH in 1950, it is clear to me that I have no right to call myself one of the first female pilots of BiH. Still, I had a wish to share my story, because my flying dream, characteristic and understandable only by the lovers of sky and planes, is indestructible and unconstrained and, finally, realized after 30 years.
Namely, in America I continued training on Cessna 172. I performed my first independent flight on September 21, 2014. Many people ask me how it felt to be alone in the plane for the first time and was I afraid. There was no fear, just tremendous pride and satisfaction for a dream come true and the absolute freedom,” Vesna Hoerr said.