Meet New York's only female state police pilot

April 24, 2013 3:03:55 PM PDT
In the air and on the record books Sgt. Kathy Humphries is the only female pilot in the New York State Police Aviation Unit.

"I never thought in a million years this is what I would be doing," said Kathy Humphries, a pilot.

Sgt. Kathy Humphries pilots a fleet of helicopters in the unit.

She has been the only female pilot in the unit for 17 years and counting.

"I just think of myself as part of a team. We're all part of a team. We all try to get the job done to the best of our ability," Humphries said.

They are abilities she hones every day.

"We alternate on a daily basis. We'll do a Medivac mission, executive, environmental conservation, and law enforcement, our primary mission," Humphries said.

It's a career path, she told Eyewitness News on a recent flight over the Albany area, even she didn't imagine.

"I grew up on 'M*A*S*H' and I always thought the helicopter was really cool but it never dawned on me that was even a possibility," Humphries said.

That was, until she took her first helicopter ride.

"'This is fun! How do I do this?' And it just stemmed from there. It took me six years to get into flight school but it's been well worth it," Humphries said.

She and the other pilots in the five units fly any number of different aircraft, including a work horse Huey.

She was in the Army National Guard for 10 years, so she even flew some Blackhawk helicopters.

"And then come back here and use those skills here as well, so it's mutually beneficial," Humphries said.

Sgt. Humphries also knows something about setting your sights on the horizon and following a dream, as she enjoys success in this time honored state police unit.

"If you really want to do it, you will persevere and you will accomplish what you set out to do. I'm happy.

I am very happy in what I do," Humphries said.