A female pilot has become an internet hit for posting envy-inducing photos of her life in a bid to encourage more women to fly planes.
Eser Aksan Erdogan's Instagram is jam-packed with images showing her at work inside the cockpit of her Pegasus Airlines jet as well as enjoying time off in various exotic locations.
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The 31-year-old now has more than 39,000 followers on the photo-sharing site, each enjoying beautiful pictures of destinations from Turkey to Costa Rica.
Her work has given her the opportunity to experience activities that top most travellers' bucket lists - everything from watching the Northern Lights, to wildlife-spotting and enjoying champagne breakfasts on safari.
Eser flies a Boeing 737 for Istanbul-based Pegasus Airlines to destinations in Europe and the Middle East. She was born and raised in the Netherlands and began flying just three years ago.
"Being a pilot was my childhood dream," she told the Mirror. "I was kind of a tomboy so I always wanted to fly an F16, but since I'm against war, violence and armies, flying big jets is so much better.
"The eternal blue of the sky, fluffy clouds and the ability to visit countries far, far away have always had a big attraction on me."
Estimates from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA) say there are about 4000 women pilots worldwide from around 130,000 in total - that's just over three per cent. Another estimate, by easyJet, puts the balance at five per cent, with six per cent of its own flying staff female. British Airways says about six per cent of its pilots are women – that's 200 out of 3500.
Eser and another female pilot once landed a plane in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - a country where women are banned from driving cars. She said airport staff there were surprised to see an all-female flight crew.
"A group of ground workers were staring at us like they've never seen girls fly before."
While a pilot's life is not all glamour, it never gets boring, she added. "We always get to see the sun when you climb over the clouds on rainy days," she said.
"You can see all kinds of beautiful things up there, like at night at 41,000ft when there is no moon - you can see the Milky Way sometimes.
"In Scandinavia you can see the Aurora Borealis in winter time and when passing near clouds with static energy there is a phenomenon called St. Elmo's fire on your windscreen which is almost hypnotising."
She is not the only female pilot to delight Instagram users with her travels however. Malin Rydqvist is the Swedish pilot of a Boeing 737 while also being an expert in yoga. Her feed consists of photos of her striking difficult poses in front of picturesque landscapes.
The Telegraph, London
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