Manhattan woman flying through the unexpected, working as a pilot mechanic

Local News

A Manhattan woman is inspiring a future generation, doing something most women won’t, and flying through the unexpected.

As James Brown once said, this is a man’s world. But, it would be nothing without a woman. Especially women like Kirsten Capizzi.

“You can do whatever you put your mind to,” Capizzi said. “And that’s exactly what I do every day when I come in here.”

Kirsten is taking over what some may consider a man’s job, working as an aircraft mechanic at the Manhattan Regional Airport. According to Women in Aviation, in 2017 there were more than 280,000 men working as airplane mechanics, compared to less than 7,000 female mechanics.

“I would try to apply places, but people wouldn’t hire you unless you had experience,” she said. “I didn’t have experience coming out of school. So it was very hard.”

But after working hard and not giving up on her dreams, she made it. Kirsten said she wants men to know that women can do anything they can do, and maybe, even a little better. Something her coworker, John Charbonneau, agrees with.

“She can do certain things that I can’t,” Charbonneau said. “She can reach her hands in places that I can’t. Sometimes I have to lend her a hand. She’s been great to work with. Quite frankly, she’s a go-getter. She’s never been unwilling to learn anything.”

And she’s fixing planes while carrying a little cargo. Kirsten is 22 weeks pregnant.

“I’m hoping that when she does grow up, and she realizes what I do for a living,” she said. “That she’s kind of going to do the same thing. Either be a pilot or get in the mechanic field.”

Kirsten is one of many women proving the world would be nothing without a woman. Especially without a woman doing the unexpected.

“Don’t let, you know, being a male-dominated job intimidate you,” she said. “Just jump in and do what you have to do.”

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