Celebrating Women Inside Atlas: Captain Elena Robson

When Elena Robson was six years old, she wanted to be a prince.

“I wanted to get out, see the world and slay the dragons. The princes were the ones who got to have the adventures and I didn’t want to stay home and wait for a prince,” Elena laughs.

Elena RobsonThis quest for adventure was exactly what prompted Elena to consider aviation as a career. “I was in high school and on my way home back to Ithaca (New York) after an incredible, eye-opening experience in Alaska when I had what is a very classic pilot thought,” Elena recalls. “It suddenly occurred to me that if I became a pilot, I could go anywhere in the world.”

After returning home, Elena started researching how to become a pilot right away. She started community college and through a combination of loans, grants, and scholarships, including one from The Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots, transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Elena graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation and was hired by Atlas in June of 1993 as a member of Class 7.

Today, Elena is a 747 captain and number one on the seniority list here at Atlas.

And that makes Elena smile. “At the start of my career, I was told I wasn’t strong enough to fly an airplane or make captain. Well, here I am today – still here after more than 20 years,” says Elena.

“I simply love what I do. I love the airplanes and I love exploring the world and seeing how it works,” she adds.