By Danni Parker 11 Oct 2022 7 min read

My story with funding my Commercial Pilot training

Aviation, in all its forms, has always intrigued me 


From the moment I was fortunate enough to sit in the cockpit of a 737 after my journey to Egypt, I knew that my ultimate ambition was to become a pilot. My devotion towards aviation heightened on my 13th birthday, when my parents bought me a flight trial at my local airport. I always recall the feeling of contentment when I completed my first take-off, knowing that there is no other job in the world that I would rather have. In June 2022, six years after my first flying lesson, I passed my Private Pilot Licence Skills test. Anyone can go and obtain a Private Pilots Licence, however to progress further to a career in commercial aviation, there is a financial constraint, creating a barrier for many aspiring pilots. 


My parents (as i'm sure many will relate) will do anything to support me, yet can't help but feel guilt for the circumstance I am in, consumed with the thought of becoming a pilot yet limited by a situation completely out of my control. Airlines, flight schools and the government need to realise that the majority don't have "the bank of mum and dad" - and by striving to make the industry diverse, they need to diversify the ways it can be funded too. This is an issue around the world and one that denies many motivated individuals the opportunity due to them not having financial means to train in this profession. I speak for the majority in my position, who live and dream every day without any real means of achieving it, giving it all we have got with not a lot to financially give. 


In 2016, I sent my first letter to a flight school querying about ways in which pilot training could be funded. Fast forward Six years, and over 200 emails later, I find myself on the same mission but now meeting with Chief Operating Officers and Chief Executive Officers of flight schools, recruitment managers for airlines, well-known aviation ambassadors and government ministers. It’s become apparent that this will not change overnight. I am, however, willing to do whatever it takes to make a change to this issue and help in any way I can. 


I am immensely passionate about driving positive change and helping others. I believe that there are many people like myself who are capable, passionate and dedicated, but can't afford the cost of training and as a result, give up on their goals. I know that somewhere, there is a young child who will develop the same desire to become an airline pilot, yet will be faced with the same financial barriers as me and many others. I will do whatever it takes to make this ambition I have had since I was 7 years old happen, and break down the barrier for everyone in the process, nonetheless, I need help achieving this. 


Having said this, my biggest advice to anyone in this situation would be to do the following:


•       Send letters to your local newspapers, airlines, flight schools and contact your local MP regarding the issue, the more attention this issue gets, the more pressure for change.
•       Get some flying experience – make sure this is something you really want to pursue. Go down to your local airfield and book a flight trial. Granted, lessons can be expensive, however, you can achieve anything if you want it bad enough.
•       Set yourself goals, it took me 6 years to get my PPL due to not having the financial means to do it, 30 hours work for 1 hour in the sky it took me - yet nothing compares to the satisfaction when you pass your skills test.
•       Don’t lose faith, nothing worth having comes easy. There is a lot going on behind the scenes to tackle this issue, and I will personally do anything I can to solve this.


I look forward to the day that I can begin my career and wear my epaulettes with pride for the work I have done to make a difference. I feel now is the time for initiative and change, everyone deserves the chance to dream and achieve regardless of their circumstances - after all, we live in a meritocratic society do we not?


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