Kate McWilliams, one of easyJet’s female pilots, has just passed her command course making her the youngest commercial airline captain at just 26 years old.
Her love for aviation began at the age of four, when she was taken to her first air show by her godfather. She planned on joining the RAF, however there were no recruitment opportunities when Kate left school in 2008. Kate then joined CTC Aviation on her 19th birthday and began her career in commercial aviation. She joined easyJet in May 2011 as a first officer and began her command course on 25th April 2016 recently passing to take up the rank of Captain.
Only 5% of commercial pilots in the industry are female and last year easyJet announced an initiative to change this by doubling the proportion of female new entrants to 12% over two years. easyJet hopes that young women will consider following in Kate’s footsteps and applying to start a pilot career.
The ICAO stipulates the minimum co-pilot age on a commercial aircraft as 18 years old. To be captain, it takes three years more. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a minimum age of 21 to be a co-pilot and two years more for the left-hand seat.