In celebration of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we sat down with Aurora’s Chief Pilot Carrie Haase to learn more about her experience in the industry and advice she has for women in aerospace.

Carrie has been with Aurora for over 20 years and has held a variety of positions in program management, UAS system development, flight test, and flight operations. As chief pilot, Carrie has overseen such flight test programs as Aurora’s Personal Air Vehicle (PAV), Centaur, Small UAS programs, numerous surrogate testbed programs, and the Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration project.

What inspired you to pursue a career in aviation?

I grew up in Alaska, and flying was the easiest way to get around. I spent a lot of time on airplanes, and I was really immersed in idea that aviation can have a fundamental impact on everyday life by giving people the opportunity to connect. It opened up a lot of opportunities for adventure and exploration that aren’t possible without an airplane. I was fascinated with aviation, and knew I wanted to contribute to the industry.

What are some challenges you faced?

The aviation industry is not static – things change over time. And global events can have a major impact on the industry and create personal challenges in your career. I started out in the industry in 2001, and the industry changed drastically after September 11. The COVID-19 pandemic was another thing that altered the industry in a major way. Recognizing that there are cycles and spirals in every aspect of life and having the ability to adapt to these changes is key to driving forward in both your career and personal life.

How do you balance the demands of your role with your personal life?

Balancing professional and personal life is an ongoing process that evolves with time. There are phases both in your personal and professional life. At certain points, I deliberately chose roles that allowed me to prioritize my home life. As circumstances changed, I adapted, embracing more flexible work arrangements when my family became more self-sufficient. The key is understanding that decisions aren’t permanent, and flexibility is crucial in maintaining balance.

Any advice for women aspiring to leadership positions in demanding fields?

Embrace challenges without fear, as they often lead to growth. Building a robust support network is vital. Having mentors and colleagues in your professional life, along with a personal support system, is invaluable in navigating challenges. Seek guidance from those willing to support your career exploration and development.

How does diversity and inclusion positively impact the aerospace industry?

Diverse perspectives foster collaboration and innovation. Bringing together individuals with varied backgrounds results in unparalleled idea generation. Beyond the practical benefits, diversity broadens the talent pool, contributing to industry growth and progression.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t be afraid of opportunities that sound challenging and be willing to consider doing things that may be outside of your wheelhouse. Sometimes the things you never really saw coming can lead to the most amazing experiences.


Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company, advances the future of flight by developing and applying innovations across aircraft configurations, autonomous systems, propulsion technologies, and manufacturing processes. With a passionate and agile team, Aurora delivers solutions to its customers’ toughest challenges while meeting high standards of safety and quality. Learn more at