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Glamorous airline pilot becomes Instagram sensation with stunning snaps from cockpit and exotic destinations she's paid to visit

Mirror logo Mirror 21/02/2017 Chris kitching

Eser Aksan Erdogan snaps a selfie while hanging out of a cockpit window (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser Aksan Erdogan snaps a selfie while hanging out of a cockpit window (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) A glamorous airline pilot is taking her Instagram followers around the world with her by posting incredible snaps of the exotic locations she is paid to fly to. 

Eser Aksan Erdogan has amassed a legion of fans after sharing selfies of herself in the cockpit of the Pegasus Airlines passenger jet s she flies, and stunning photos from the exotic destinations she visits for work and holiday.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Eser at work in the cockpit before take-off</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser at work in the cockpit before take-off  The 31-year-old's shots offer a revealing look at the lives of jet-setting pilots and their down time - showing her relaxing at five-star hotels, sailing in the Mediterranean or exploring the world's wonders.

She has seen the Northern Lights, been on safari in Tanzania and landed in Saudi Arabia with an all-female flight crew, where women are banned from driving.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">The 31-year-old pilot poses on the engine of a passenger jet</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc The 31-year-old pilot poses on the engine of a passenger jet  And the adventurous pilot hopes more women will join the mainly male-dominated industry.

Eser began posting photos after she started flying three years ago, and now has more than 28,000 followers.

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos from spectacular destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, Edinburgh, Malta and Petra in Jordan. 

Eser is one of just a few thousand female pilots in a male-dominated industry (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser is one of just a few thousand female pilots in a male-dominated industry (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) She regularly shares selfies before take-off, stunning snaps from the best seat on a plane and intimate portraits from her personal life, including her wedding in the Seychelles.

Eser, who flies for Istanbul-based Pegasus Airlines, is Dutch and Turkish, having been born and raised in the Netherlands.

Paddleboarding in crystal clear waters during a recent trip to Mexico (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Paddleboarding in crystal clear waters during a recent trip to Mexico (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) She has been living in Turkey for eight years, and flies Boeing 737 aircraft to destinations in Europe and the Middle East for the low-cost carrier.

Her photos reveal her enthusiasm for a profession in which there are only around 5,000 female airline pilots.

The former water polo player works for Istanbul-based Pegasus Airlines (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc The former water polo player works for Istanbul-based Pegasus Airlines (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) Eser, who has visited nearly 50 countries, said: "Being a pilot was my childhood dream. I was kind of a tomboy so I always wanted to fly an F16, but since I'm against war, violence and armies, flying big jets is so much better.

"The eternal blue of the sky, fluffy clouds and the ability to visit countries far, far away have always had a big attraction on me.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Relaxing poolside at the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Relaxing poolside at the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok 

"My parents were afraid of flying so I was the only one in the family who had a crush on the sky."

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Eser hopes to inspire young girls to pursue a career in aviation</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser hopes to inspire young girls to pursue a career in aviation  Spending so much time in the sky has allowed Eser to see things that most people will never witness in their lifetime.

She said: "The best part of the job is that is never gets boring and we always get to see the sun when you climb over the clouds on rainy days.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">She regularly shares snaps from her travels, including this shot from Malta</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc She regularly shares snaps from her travels, including this shot from Malta  "You can see all kinds of beautiful things up there, like at night at 41,000ft when there is no moon you can see the Milky Way sometimes.

"In Scandinavia you can see the Aurora Borealis in winter time and when passing near clouds with static energy there is a phenomenon called St. Elmo's fire on your windscreen which is almost hypnotising."

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Eser admires the views from a balcony in Napoli</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser admires the views from a balcony in Napoli  While the job has plenty of perks, it is incredibly tough on a personal level with so much time spent away from home.

It's not a nine to five career and there is no thing such as weekends.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Eser and her husband Volkan, who is also a pilot, visit Petra in Jordan</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser and her husband Volkan, who is also a pilot, visit Petra in Jordan  But Eser and her 33-year-old husband, Volkan, who is a pilot with a different airline, have set up their schedules so their days off coincide, allowing them to travel the world together.

The favourite place she's visited is the Seychelles - reminding her of her marriage - but she also has had extraordinary experiences during Carnival in Rio and during a safari in Tanzania. 

A romantic moment in Maarssen in the Netherlands (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc A romantic moment in Maarssen in the Netherlands (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) Marrakech, the Cote d'Azur in France, Cappadocia in Turkey and beaches on Australia's east coast are among her top destinations.

On one memorable flight for work Eser and a fellow female pilot landed a plane in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - a country where women are banned from driving cars.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Eser during a recent visit back home in the Netherlands</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser during a recent visit back home in the Netherlands 

People were surprised to see an all-female flight crew, and she admitted she was nervous when they arrived.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">The pilot had the best seat while flying over snow-capped mountains in Turkey</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc The pilot had the best seat while flying over snow-capped mountains in Turkey  She said: "After landing they [ground operations] didn't give us a hard time but we were certainly popular.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">Eser's childhood dream was to become a pilot</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eser's childhood dream was to become a pilot  "A group of ground workers was staring at us like they've never seen girls fly before."

Eser, who played water polo for the Turkish national team and a top-flight Dutch club, is an inspiration to girls and women who are interested in pursuing a career in aviation.

The Pegasus Airlines pilot flies Boeing 737 aircraft to Europe and the Middle East (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc The Pegasus Airlines pilot flies Boeing 737 aircraft to Europe and the Middle East (Photo: Instagram/echosierra85) While her Instagram account reveals the bonuses of working in aviation, she cautioned that the job isn't "glitter and glamour".Instagram/echosierra85

She said: "It's really hard work and you have to be prepared to study a lifetime. Be prepared for hard weather conditions, red-eye flights, very long duty hours up to a maximum of 14 to 16 hours and a lot of hotel rooms.

<span class="caption" itemprop="description" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:14px;margin:0px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-weight:700;color:#2c2c2c;">The job has plenty of perks and challenges</span><span style="color:#141414;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;font-size:16px;background-color:#f1f1f1;">&nbsp;</span><span class="credit" itemprop="author" style="background:transparent;border:0px;font-size:11px;margin:0px 0px 0px 2px;outline:0px;padding:0px;vertical-align:baseline;font-family:'Open Sans', sans-serif;color:#141414;">(Photo: Instagram/echosierra85)</span> © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc The job has plenty of perks and challenges  "There have been days when I woke up and didn't know my location for a minute. You will miss a lot of birthdays, special occasions and anniversaries, you will lose a lot of friends, but in return you get the most colourful, awesome job with lots of travelling - and did I mention you have the best office view in the world?

"From the bottom of my heart I hope more girls would choose this career since it's still a pretty much male-dominated industry."

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