A record-breaking Torrington teenager has been taken under the wing of commercial airline easyJet to help fulfil her dream to become a pilot.
Ellie Carter is Britain’s youngest licensed pilot and hit the headlines on her 16th birthday in January after she became the youngest person in the country to fly solo in a powered aircraft.
Now easyJet has offered Ellie mentoring with Line Training Captain Zoe Ebrey, as part of the airline’s ongoing efforts to attract more women into the profession.
Globally, women account for just one in 20 of the world’s pilots and easyJet says it is leading the industry with its recruitment drive for more female pilots.
Ellie said: “I’ve been interested in the physics and powered flight from as young as I can remember.
“Flying absolutely amazes me and continues to surprise me and so I can see how rewarding a career as a pilot could be.
“I hope that my story will encourage young girls to accomplish whatever they set their mind to, because if I can do it, so can they.
“I’m overwhelmed with the support I’ve had from the public and ecstatic that easyJet have offered me this opportunity which will help me on my way to pursuing the career of my dreams – I can’t wait to get started!”
Capt Ebrey added: “It’s fantastic to meet such a passionate young commercial pilot in the making. Ellie’s drive, determination and achievements to date are impressive and I look forward to helping her more on her journey.”
Ellie has been has been learning to fly since she was nine-years-old.
It all began when in 2012 she wrote to organisers of the Royal International Air Tattoo, held annually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, to ask if her favourite aircraft – the U-2 spy plane – could feature at the show.
The then Monkleigh Primary School pupil only gave her name, age and Devon as an address, leading to an international ‘hunt’ which reached the US crew of the spy plane at Beale Air Force Base, in California.
Inspired by Ellie’s letter, the crew invited her to visit the American air base and fly with them – and in turn they inspired her to take up flying lessons.
Anyone who wants to find out more about becoming a pilot for easyJet can visit http://becomeapilot.easyjet.com .