Did you always want to be a pilot, how did you select your ATO(s)?
Unlike a lot of people, I decided I wanted to be a pilot quite late on in my studies and it wasn’t until my first year of university that I started to seriously consider this as a career for me. My father is an airline pilot and he introduced me to gliding when I was 15. I loved it and first sparked my flying interest.
I knew I would prefer to go to an ATO in the UK. At first, I considered larger, more established ATOs as I had friends training at these academies. It wasn’t until I attended an industry event in London that I became aware of Skyborne. I was very impressed by the academy’s ethos and I especially liked the fact that Skyborne prioritised quality of training over anything. I then went to one of Skyborne’s open days and loved what I saw, so I decided to apply.
What stage have you reached in your training?
I have completed module 1 of ground school and came out with good results that I’m happy with. I’m now studying module 2 of ground school with the next set of exams approaching so I am currently revising the subjects for these.
How has your training experience at Skyborne been so far?
It has been hard work but amazing! Time has certainly gone very quickly. I’m very glad I chose Skyborne, mainly because the quality of training is so good. The class sizes are well managed, so learning is a very personalised experience and the flight instructors are always doing their best to help you understand things.
What aspect are you looking forward to most in your training?
When we finally get to start flying of course! At times it can be difficult to maintain the level of motivation studying the ground school subjects however I recently back seated a student completing their instrument rating. It was amazing, so interesting and has made me look forward to the flying phase of the programme even more now! Spain is only a couple weeks away!
Aviation is a male-dominated industry, yet more and more women are choosing it as their career. What are some of the misconceptions about women in aviation?
One of the problems is exposure. When I was at school a career in aviation was never discussed unlike other professions such as being lawyer or a doctor. Lucky for me, I had been exposed to aviation from an early age so it was something I could really consider as I grew up.
I think there is a misconception around the number of successful female pilots. There are in fact many female pilots in the industry now. I remember a touching moment when a young girl came up to me at an air show because she’d never seen a female pilot before and didn’t know they existed! Luckily there’s a big push now to introduce even more women into aviation.
How do you think the industry will change in the next couple of years?
I believe the industry will become more eco-friendly due to climate change. There will be a continuing effort to switch to non-fossil fuels with more developed methods on ‘CO2 capture’. I think there will also be efforts to produce short haul hybrid and fully electric aircraft with a larger focus on engines becoming more fuel efficient.
What advice would you pass on to someone who wants to be a commercial airline pilot?
I would say while you’re still at school choose subjects you enjoy but maths and physics will help you most when it comes to ground school. Try and get some experience working in aviation as it will provide you with a better understanding of the industry and helps to keep you up to date with current topics. You can also draw on this experience when attending your academy interview. In addition, I would recommend getting some flying experience, although expensive, it will help you determine whether flying is for you and will provide you with the basics of flight training.