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.

I’m so proud to be where I am and I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for me when I head off to Bridgewater State University this fall to major in aviation. Being a female puts me in a constantly watched and critiqued position but I know I’m going to prove all these boys wrong some day. Today I am just a student pilot but who knows, maybe soon enough I will be the one welcoming a new little cherub into the world of planes and encouraging them to always reach for the stars!

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!
Swayne Martin

Martins Aviation / From Private to Professional Pilot 
Twitter: @MartinsAviation 

If you're interested in writing for the blog, more details are here: Share Your Story


  1. Jamie, there is so much in store for you... and it's all good. Stay focused and pointed true north, you will always find your way.

    I hope one day you will come and fly the heavy jets with me.

    Swayne, thank you for sharing a great story!

    1. Glad to do it!

      If she hadn't already, I was glad to connect you with her blog. You have so many fantastic articles and it must be totally motivating especially to a young woman like Jamie.

      Swayne Martin

  2. Very cool story. My joining the Air Force started out as bit of a joke too. Don't ever think your dreams are out of reach. The only way you can ever find out how great you are is to keep pushing your limits.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment! I totally agree,

  3. it's really great story to share it with us JAMIE ...showing us it doesn't matter how much difficult you are facing to achieve your dream and being an airline pilot ..i like your spirit and it's give us all some strike to keep going and follow our dreams no matter where they is and how much hard it is ... thank you very much to share this story with us.
    more thanks to you SWAYNE to publish it too ...


Thanks for your comment; I really appreciate it! Glad you are here with me on the blog. If your comment does not appear right away, it will after verification.

Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin