With a Master’s degree in International Relations, Lea Tintaud was destined to pursue a career working with multiple nationalities and languages, having always dreamed of eventually becoming a lawyer. Following five years working as a yacht stewardess to subsidise her studies, she jumped at the opportunity to put her knowledge and skills to use when applying for a charter manager role in a well-reputed, family-sized yachting company.
“After working on board yachts, it felt familiar and I was able to learn about the administrative and legal side of organising a charter,” Lea explains. “I came to realise that things don’t always go as planned and, in fact, you do become a bit like a lawyer for your clients; looking out for their best interests and fighting to get the best results for them.”
It was during this stint as a charter manager that Lea developed another dream: to become a helicopter pilot. She recalls the day that one of her CA yachts was missing some APA, so she and the company’s owner (who was a private pilot) had to rush to the bank and deliver money from Cannes to Corsica by helicopter. “It felt like I was in a James Bond movie! I started to research how to become qualified as a pilot, but it was so expensive that I thought it would always be unreachable.”
Then, when Lea was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition and could not work for nine months, her outlook changed. “After my remission, I decided that I needed to follow my dreams in life, so it became my goal to become a helicopter pilot. I fortunately had the opportunity to do so thanks to my dear friends and supportive professional network.”
Lea is now an accomplished private helicopter pilot with a four-seater Robinson R44 Type Rating. She flies regularly in her spare time and, with yachts and helicopters often going hand in hand, her helicopter flying skills and knowledge add immense value to her role as charter broker, which is fully embraced at Moravia Yachting. As Lea explains, “At Moravia, the team is full of unique and inspiring personalities, with the partners allowing you to grow with their full support.”
There are currently 30 helicopter-capable yachts up to 168 metres on MYBA’s YACHTFOLIO database. Lea’s personal recommendations are the 85-metre Bold, with its fully certified commercial Helideck and amazing array of toys for the most adventurous types of charterers, and 77-metre Legend, with its 22 cabins that allow members of staff and expedition teams to join and create an unforgettable charter experience.
As well as being able to offer specialist advice to clients who are interested in incorporating a helicopter as part of their charter experience, Lea provides support and expertise to a private heliport audit and engineering company. This collaboration complements her role as charter broker by creating opportunities to meet potential clients with an interest in, or need for, helicopters.
As part of her helicoptering endeavours, Lea is also the founder of HeliChix – a community that celebrates and inspires female helicopter pilots and engineers by sharing knowledge and success stories in the industry. Having discovered the helicopter industry was predominantly male (less than 7 per cent of helicopter pilots were women in 2021), Lea started the community on Instagram, where it has since taken off and garnered over 23-thousand followers.
“As a woman, becoming a helicopter pilot can be daunting and the financial aspect can discourage you greatly,” explains Lea. “But I really want to motivate those women who want to do it. The community has since been able to create funding opportunities and help others succeed.”
Lea’s well-rounded experience and determined nature make her a great asset to the Moravia retail charter team, as she also strives to inspire her clients. “We only have one chance at life and I want to be able to look back on it and say that I’ve done some extraordinary things,” she concludes. “Investing in experiences and memories is never a waste, and one can never spend too much time with their loved ones – this is what I want for my clients when I organise their time on board their chosen piece of paradise at sea.”