Hi! My name is Ayesha, from Brunei Darussalam. I’m a 20-year-old trainee pilot currently in the basic flight training phase.
I only started flying on the January 25th, 2023 so I’m new to it all and it’s been challenging, but the feeling of being up in the air is addictive and it’s been a blast!
I always knew I wanted to be a pilot, cliché I know, but ever since I was young my parents took me on holiday. I was lucky to spend a lot of time in planes travelling the globe, experiencing the world and its wonders and it really impacted me. When Royal Brunei Airlines introduced Capt. Sharifah Czarena Surainy Syed Hashim as their first female captain in 2012, I had a true role model and my desire of becoming a pilot was solidified.
"When I complete my training here at L3Harris I look forward to travelling the world as a pilot."
I didn't know what to anticipate when I first started ground school, but I knew that it would be challenging, and it certainly was. One story that I always tell people is when I almost decided to quit in Module 2, everything was so overwhelming. I felt extremely homesick being an only child away from my parents for so long and the subjects were quite challenging for me to grasp, but I pushed through. Tearful study sessions and ‘therapy’ sessions with my friends, late night phone calls to my parents back home, I did it!
Out of the 13 ground school subjects I averaged an 89% pass rate, with my favourite subject being Flight Planning and Communications. I had great Instructors who went out of their way to help me pass!
Due to my gender, I have unfortunately been subject to passive-aggressive comments such as, "I would undoubtedly find it difficult to comprehend engine systems" and that I "won't get far and should stick to activities more in line with my speed." But I’m pleased to say with the support of my parents, friends and classmates I have overcome these negative remarks and only focus on the positive experiences!
When I complete my training here at L3Harris I look forward to travelling the world, meeting new people and having new experiences. I would ultimately like to fly for my national carrier, Royal Brunei, but at the end of the day I will happily fly for any airline to achieve my dream of being a pilot and to make my parents proud.
To the women like me, who I hope to inspire to achieve in a male dominated industry, I say: "Don’t be scared, because in the future there won’t be any ‘female’ pilots, there will just be pilots."
Anyone that knows me will tell you: if I wasn't a pilot, they don’t know what I’d be. So, I’ll leave you with my favourite quote from Amelia Earhart: "there’s more to life than being a passenger."
Fly like a girl!