Labrador pilot named one of Canadian aviation's top 20 under 40

Canadian aviation magazine Wings has recognized a helicopter pilot from Newfoundland and Labrador as one of the most inspiring young leaders in Canadian aviation and aerospace. 

Aviation's Top 20 Under 40 has listed only five women, and one of them is 29-year-old Allison Rumbolt of Mary's Harbour. 

Rumbolt was nominated by one of her Cougar Helicopters colleagues earlier this year, and chosen by Wings based on her "demonstration of leadership, innovation, influence, achievement and dedication shown to the Canadian aviation industry."

"It was a surprise," she said.  "It was an honour to be nominated, but about three or four weeks ago I actually made the list, so it was quite the honour."

Rumbolt went to flight school as soon as she could — at age 17 — and started flying when she was just 18 years old. 

"My love for aviation began as a very small kid growing up in southern Labrador," she said.

"Both my parents worked in the industry. My mom was part-time with the local airline and my dad was the airport operator there, so I spent most of my downtime at the airport with them and the passion just grew from there."

Gary Locke/CBC

Rumbolt pilots a Cougar S92 helicopter to and from Newfoundland's offshore oil rigs.

She said her profession had the potential to take her anywhere in the world, but she chose to stay home. 

"I had a dream at a very young age," she said. "I pursued it, and today I'm here with the career I [always] dreamed of." 

Allison Rumbolt tells CBC's Ashley Brauweiler the advice she shares with girls and young women: 

In addition to flying offshore, Rumbolt works as an ambassador with Elevate Aviation; a non-profit organization that promotes gender diversity in the skies, with hopes of inspiring women to seek out careers in aviation.

With Elevate, she gets the opportunity to showcase helicopters to the public, take children inside the cockpit and show them how all the gadgets work. 

"Kids are very interested," she said. "You don't really get a chance to get up-close and personal with an aircraft this size, so when you bring them down and show them an S92, people are impressed by it."

Rumbolt took part in Elevate's nationwide tour this year, and its stop in Goose Bay, not far from her hometown, hosted the biggest crowd. 

"It's rewarding," she said. "I'd recommend this career to anybody — male or female."

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