Maynard student, Olivia Taylor, has become the only female to successfully gain a place on the Skyborne EASA Integrated ATPL training course to become a fully qualified airline pilot – a long held ambition for the Devon sixth former.
“It’s in my blood,” announced the 17-year old from Exeter shortly after receiving notification that she had been awarded the place following a rigorous three stage application process. “Grandad used to be a training captain for British Airways; both my mother and father were cabin crew for British Airways and Virgin respectively and my uncle is a captain for easyJet. So it has always been an option for me, particularly as I have never wanted to go to university but instead do something a little more hands on.
“As part of the process, I had to write three 200 word paragraphs about what my biggest challenge in life has been and why I wanted to do the course and then I had to sit a whole day’s worth of verbal reasoning assessments followed by a trip to Gloucestershire Airport last week for a full day of interviews. It turned out that by the time they had whittled the field down to just three of us that I was the youngest by at least fifteen years!”
Following her A-levels next summer, Olivia will embark on a six month training course at the Skyborne Academy followed by another six months learning to fly in Spain, where she will be living for that time.
“Ultimately I would like to work for Emirates and live in Dubai but will probably build up my short hauls first with a company like easyJet. Going into a very heavily male-dominated industry has been very daunting, however I believe that I can truly bring some excellent qualities to this industry - clearly Skyborne thought so too! I can’t wait to begin my career, and perhaps you might hear me over the tannoy in many years to come!