Pilot Emilie, Dash 8 Q400 Training Captain, shares her experience becoming a pilot and what she loves most about the career.
What sparked your interest in becoming a pilot?
My interest in aviation started when I was young, but I never considered it a career until I was 23 years old. It wasn’t until I hit a slump in life and my father suggested it to me that I seriously contemplated it. I had always loved travelling, enjoyed my time in airports, and especially loved the freedom I felt once airborne. It seemed like a perfect fit.
What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is being able to travel and explore. I also love the people I get to meet and work with. It’s an extremely dynamic work environment which keeps my social battery charged. I love the ongoing and never-ending challenges we are faced with. There are always opportunities to progress, learn, and grow which to me is a perfect setup for a long and enjoyable career.
Where did you train and what did you learn most during that experience?
I did my training out of Buttonville Municipal Airport in Markham, north of Toronto and concurrently attended a part-time program at Seneca College for my ground school. What I learned most is getting my pilot’s license was truly getting my license to learn. Aviation is a perpetually changing landscape and we should maintain a humble attitude to continually keep educating ourselves and others. I try to maintain that mindset to this day, 13 years after first starting my training.
What’s your favourite place you’ve flown to?
My favourite place I’ve flown to thus far might be Terrace in British Columbia, Canada. It can be one of the more challenging airports, especially in the winter, within our regional network so there is a component of pride and a sense of achievement on top of simply being one of the most scenic areas to fly in Canada!
What advice would you give aspiring pilots?
The advice I would give to aspiring pilots would be to enjoy the process. Many pilots are always rushing to the next step or the next achievement and stuck looking ahead to the future. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others in the industry, flying a shiny new jet, but we must ensure we are trying to be present and making the best of each opportunity. Before you know it, you’ll be close to retiring and wishing you could be enjoying your initial training all over again! Think of it as though you are writing the novel of your life and each step is a new chapter with unique challenges, lots of self-development, and hopefully many amazing memories!
To follow Pilot Emilie’s journey,