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Monday, September 26, 2016

Kate Mcwilliams, A British Woman Becomes One Of The World’s Youngest Commercial Airline Captains At The Age Of 26.

Kate McWilliams, 26, says easyJet passengers
ask about her age all the time

More news Topics Air transport easyJet
Airline industry
Gatwick airport Transport
Kate McWilliams joined easyJet as a first officer in May
2011 and recently rose to the rank of captain. She is based
at Gatwick airport. Photograph: easyJet/PA

A British woman has become one of the world’s
youngest commercial airline captains at the age
of 26. Kate McWilliams, from Carlisle, said she
is asked about her age by cabin crew and
passengers almost daily and most people are
“pleasantly surprised and impressed” when she
tells them.
McWilliams began flying in the air cadets aged
13 before going on a training programme at
CTC Aviation in Southampton on her 19th
birthday then joining easyJet as a first officer in
May 2011. She recently rose to the rank of
captain after passing the airline’s command
course. An easyJet spokeswoman said the
budget carrier believes McWilliams is the
world’s youngest commercial airline captain.
McWilliams said:
“Personally, I don’t think
my age matters. I’ve been
through the same training
and passed the same
command course as every
other captain, so I’ve
proven myself capable
regardless of my age. I do
now get asked how old I
am on an almost daily
basis, which didn’t used to
happen when I was a first
officer.”
McWilliams lives in
Reigate, Surrey, and is
based at Gatwick airport .
She flies Airbus A319 and A320 planes to about
100 destinations, including Reykjavik, Tel Aviv
and Marrakech.
McWilliams said that when she was growing up,
she did not think it was an option to become a
commercial pilot, but she has “never looked
back” since beginning her training. “I love
being a commercial pilot for easyJet and I am
proud that I have now achieved my ambition of
becoming a captain,” she said.
Only 5% of commercial pilots are women and
last year easyJet announced an initiative to
double the proportion of new female entrants
to 12% over two years.
Julie Westhorp, the chair of the British Women
Pilots’ Association, said she hoped that
McWilliams’ progression would inspire more
women to consider a career in aviation. She
went on: “Both the BWPA and easyJet are aware
of the importance of visible role models for
girls and young women when making career
choices and continue to work together to
encourage young women to consider a pilot
career.
“Kate’s achievement clearly demonstrates to
other young women that it is possible to
succeed as a pilot in commercial aviation. We
wish Kate continuing success in her career and
are delighted that she is now an excellent role
model for other females.”
Last week, McWilliams flew from Gatwick to
Malta alongside Luke Elsworth, who earlier this
year became the UK’s youngest pilot aged 19.
Michael Crowley, of Boca Raton, Florida, was
promoted to the role of captain with SkyKing, a
charter carrier, in 2012, at the age of 24. He
flies Boeing 737s between Miami and Cuba.
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