"I turned 18 at an air cadet boot camp. The next day, I went to the recruiting center and told them what my dream was."
Canada's world renowned Snowbirds precision aerobatic team fly Canadair CT-114 Tutors, the same jet used for basic pilot training.
Tanya flies one of Canada's Maritime patrol aircraft, which is an Aurora CP-140. She is a crew commander, and leads a team of 13 personnel. Her missions involve anti-submarine warfare, patrolling and enforcing Canada's 200-mile fishing limit, surface surveillance and monitoring of Maritime shipping traffic, and watching over the Arctic for sovereignty control. She also participates in search and rescue operations.
It's a life that she enjoys. It brings together her love of flying, and other challenges such as the strategic thinking required in anti-submarine warfare. In addition, she appreciates working with a high-caliber, professional crew of people.
After completing high school, she continued her education at Royal Roads in Victoria, and then went on to the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston where she earned a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering. Although it is unnecessary to have a university degree to be a commercial pilot, she says a degree IS required to fly [and be an officer] in the military.
Did you know? Canada has the world's longest coastline to defend….59,000 kilometres!
Tanya finds that the military provides encouragement for people to move ahead, get promoted, and move around. Postings to different Canadian provinces and places overseas are possible. Regardless of locale, however, the same standard benefits available to all personnel apply. A captain pilot in the Airforce can make anywhere from $45,000 to $75,000 depending on the number of years spent working in the Armed Forces.
Are you ready to strap in for a little adventure? We're taking off with military pilot Captain Tanya Sprathoff.
Tanya is both a Canadian Forces maritime patrol crew commander and the pilot of an Aurora aircraft. Leading a crew of up to 13 personnel, her daily duties can include hunting for submarines, doing aerial photo reconnaissance or performing search and rescue for a capsized ship.
It's all in a day's work for Canada's maritime patrol crews…
Education: Royal Roads in Victoria, Mechanical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston
Hobbies: Rock climbing, soccer, downhill and cross country skiing