Heather Sterzick

posted: 07/02/15
Heather Sterzick - Airplane Repo S2B
David Newsom Photography

"The Apprentice"

  • Former U.S. Army tactical air traffic controller
  • Part-time charter pilot
  • Currently working on completing Certified Flight Instructor rating
  • From Saranac, Michigan

Heather Sterzick has always been interested in obtaining her pilot's license, even from the age of 4. Determined to accomplish her goal, she immersed herself in aviation by joining the Army as a tactical air traffic controller when she was 18. She served in South Korea for two years and attended Air Assault school, where she became one of the few women to graduate from a very difficult course. Heather also served in Baghdad, Iraq in the Army Airspace Command and Control unit.

In 2006, Heather was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and lost her medical certificate for air traffic control. Fortunately, with a partial thyroidectomy, she became cancer free and was able to continue controlling air traffic as a civilian controller.

While working in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and the United Arab Emirates, Heather continued to pursue her love of aviation by paragliding and ultralight flying. While in Abu Dhabi, she became the first female air traffic control instructor to train the Emirati Air Force. She also completed her Bachelor at the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

Today, Heather is addicted to the thrill of aerobatics. She recently started competing, in addition to working as a part-time charter pilot. Her plan is to continue working on aerobatics and to finish her certified flight instructor rating so that she can one day share her passion for inverted flight with others.

On Airplane Repo, Heather has teamed with Kevin Lacey in order to learn the ropes of repo. "I'm super excited to share my lessons learned with those who might be interested in learning how to repo airplanes," she says. "Or really anyone looking for a good laugh!"

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