We are delighted to welcome Kate McWilliams as our new Goodwood Aero Club Ambassador.
In 2016, aged just 26, Kate McWilliams became the world’s youngest ever female commercial airline captain. She is now a Training Captain, training easyJet’s newest recruits.
In January, we welcomed Kate to the Old Control Tower Café, where she gave an inspirational talk about her swift rise up the ranks.
Kate’s interest in flying began at an early age, gaining her first hands-on experience with the Air Cadets aged 13 and completing her first solo flight at only 16. The Air Cadets gave Kate more than just flying experience, it gave her the confidence to apply for flying training, even though her headmaster at school told her that she would never be a pilot.
On her 19th birthday, Kate set off for New Zealand and started at CTC pilot training school, where she gained her commercial pilot’s licence. Two years later, Kate started working for easyJet as a First Officer, initially based at London Gatwick and later at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, where she gained valuable flying hours and experience.
In early 2016, after undertaking a series of interviews, simulator tests and flying tests, Kate completed her command course and became the world’s youngest female commercial captain.
Having been told by her teacher 12 years before that she couldn’t be a pilot, Kate is passionate in her belief that no child should ever be told that they can’t achieve their dream. So, since achieving hers, Kate has been working with many schools and youth organisations to inspire other children to aim high and consider aviation as a career. Only 6% of pilots are female, a number which Kate is very keen to increase.
Almost every day a passenger will comment about it being a “lady pilot” when they board her aircraft but Kate is determined to make it so normal to see a female pilot that people don’t need to comment. By reaching out to children of school age, her hope is that more young girls are inspired to become pilots. Kate’s efforts in challenging gender stereotypes were rewarded at the 2018 everywoman Awards, where she was named Woman of the Year.
More from Goodwood Aero Club
Goodwood Aero Club
If flying is your passion, the Goodwood Aero Club is packed with people who feel the same way.