Georgia State Patrol’s first female pilot gets her wings

Credit: Georgia State Patrol

Credit: Georgia State Patrol

She always knew she wanted a career in law enforcement. But as a teenager, a helicopter flight at the beach made Haley Jo Lucas consider working in aviation.

“That’s what changed my mind,” Lucas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I just liked the way it flew and how you had to fly it, looking out over everything. Looking out from up there, it’s just a totally different world.”

She didn’t have to choose one passion over the other. Instead, she made history. Lucas is the first female pilot for the Georgia State Patrol.

“We hope Trooper Lucas’ accomplishment inspires other young women to pursue their dreams,” Col. Christopher C. Wright, commissioner of the department of public safety, said in an emailed statement.

Georgia State Patrol Aviation Division Pins First Female Pilot AUGUST 04, 2022 (ATLANTA, GA) – The first ever female...

Posted by Georgia Department of Public Safety on Thursday, August 4, 2022

Lucas is one of 14 pilots employed by the State Patrol. She says she’s also the youngest. It’s taken years to reach her goal, but Lucas says it’s all been worth it.

“This is a fun job,” she said. “I get to fly in my home state. I feel like I have a purpose doing this.”

After graduating from Middle Georgia State University in 2017 with a degree in aviation management, Lucas was hired by the State Patrol. She graduated from trooper school in 2019 and went to work on the roads for Post 34 in Manchester. In April 2021, Lucas joined the state patrol’s aviation unit.

Since then, Lucas has been on daily missions, gaining experience and flyer miles while helping solve crimes. This week, she was officially presented her wings in a ceremony attended by her colleagues and about 50 family members and friends.

Her family knows the job could be dangerous. But Lucas says she has more control in the air compared to what she may encounter on the ground. Her boyfriend, currently in the Army, is even a little jealous that she gets to fly every day.

“My mom is always worried,” Lucas said. “She’s super proud but always worried.”

She loves the job and is proud of the work. Lucas hopes that encourages others to pursue their dreams.

“If there’s something you want to do, don’t hesitate,” she said. “It may take a while to get there, but do it. Once you get there it will be worth it.”