My name is Rachel Schauerhamer, I am 24 years old and have been a Flight Instructor at L3Harris for two and a half years now.
My story is a little different than that of most my peers. I didn’t wish to be a pilot at a young age. It was not on my radar of things that were even possible. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and somehow, I got stuck as a hairstylist.
Luckily, my life took a took a turn one day when I was driving home from work. I saw a plane flying above me and followed it to a small airport. I stood there by the runway watching this small plane fly the traffic pattern. I started dreaming. Maybe I could fly a plane. A Flight Instructor approached me, and the rest is history. I signed up for the program, and was all in, flying every morning, and studying every night. Flight training was incredibly hard, but the most fulfilling and most satisfying experience. I pushed myself harder than I ever had before. Starting flight school was the catalyst I needed to actually start living my life.
Thirteen months after my first flight I passed my CFI checkride. I qualified as an Instructor and was hired at L3Harris. Since then I have been able to get my CFII and MEI through the programs L3Harris offers. Nothing about this job is dull or boring. Everything is hands on, and I feel that I am constantly learning new things. Someday soon I hope to be flying for a regional airline. I plan to take advantage of the travel benefits and see the world.
I never thought in a million years I would be a pilot. I didn’t know anything about planes and didn’t know anyone in the aviation industry. But that day I followed a small plane to a small airport, started a big dream and that dream became a reality. Keep your dreams big. Don’t hold yourself back and always know that you are capable of anything you set your mind to.