Thursday, March 28, 2013
Share Your Story: Jamie Engler, 17, Massachusetts
A big thanks to Jamie for writing in with the first "Share Your Story" post! Many more are coming soon. Details for participation in the "Share Your Story" section can be found here: Click Here and Get Involved
Jamie Engler has a passion for aviation. She loves to meet pilots from around the world and build connections. At 17 years old, she is one of the few teens in the world who has flown an aircraft (much less solo!). She is a member of the 3,500 teens in the United States (1 half of 1 percent of all pilots) who are certified pilots. Not only that, but according the the FAA's statistics, she is also one of the tiny 5.39% of women pilots in the United States.
It's awesome that she is one of the young women who is beating the odds and learning how to fly. We need more people like her who are out there and enthusiastic about aviation. Here is her story:
My first solo was on March 3rd, 2013. It wasn’t easy and it took a long time. I worked from July until March to get my landings perfect but I live somewhere where the weather is unpredictable and it was difficult to fly. When I finally did make it to the skies alone, it felt like nothing before. At first I was nervous because the first time you reach over and there’s no one there, it just feels different (obviously). Even when you look at the runway before take off, it feels different. It felt like there was nothing but a new world to explore and nothing but chances to take. So when I was all done with my first solo, I felt like a different person, like I had achieved more than I could have ever possibly imagined and lets face it, its only the beginning!
I started flying because I was a bit lost in finding a future for myself. I always loved drama but it wasn’t a good platform for college and I guess one day after listening to another one of my dads stories about being the crew chief in helicopters I had a thought. It was a joke at first and I asked myself how awesome would it be to fly planes for a living. That appealed to me because I love to travel. Soon after, the thought progressed and I tossed it off a few people until it became a solid idea. Me? A Pilot? Completely crazy until my dad offered a starter flight to see how I’d like it. Over the past couple of months, flying has made me a more confident person. I definitely tell everyone what I do and what I plan to do which is work my way up the ladder to be the captain of a British Airways International Jet.
Personally, my favorite airport is Providence but it can be really scary when my little Cessna 172s is waiting for a huge 737 to land. I’m so tiny in comparison and it can be really intimidating if I mess up on the radios while there are like 10 other professional pilots listening. I can truly say that my favorite experience is when my instructor, 2 other students, and I went to a nearby airport and grabbed a pizza from the restaurant next door. We’re all really close with each other and we definitely have more of a friendship relationship than just an student instructor. I’m beyond proud of Dan my teacher because he just got a job with Alpha airways! He may be leaving but if I don’t have my license by the time he leaves, I’m still going to be his student. His only student he’s keeping after he leaves. I’m so thankful for that because I’m so comfortable with him that I wouldn’t want to switch instructors. He’s even taken me to go spin the plane and it was the single scariest event of my life. I was not expecting that feeling but it was also the most fun.
Thanks again for writing the first "Share Your Story" post Jamie! You've already accomplished so much, I can't wait to see what you'll be doing in the near future. Hopefully you'll be able to write in soon with a new story.
Everyone head over and follow Jamie Engler on Twitter: @JamieCeciliaa
Thanks so much!
Martins Aviation / From Private to Professional Pilot
If you're interested in writing for the blog, more details are here: Share Your Story