England’s Kate McWilliams, 26, is one of the youngest captains currently commanding a commercial airliner. She flies Airbus A319 and A320 planes for the budget carrier easyJet. A spokeswoman for the company said that she believes McWilliams is in fact the youngest commercial airline captain in the world.
McWilliams, who hails from Carlisle, has been flying since she was 13 years old, when she joined the Royal Air Force’s air cadets program. She joined easyJet as a first officer in 2011, and was recently elevated to the rank of captain.
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“Personally, I don’t think my age matters,” McWilliams told the Press Association. “I’ve been through the same training and passed the same command course as every other captain, so I’ve proven myself capable regardless of my age. I do now get asked how old I am on an almost daily basis, which didn’t used to happen when I was a first officer.”
Last year, easyJet announced its plan to double the number of female pilots employed by the company. Women in the aviation industry are dramatically underrepresented; it has been estimated that female pilots make up between three and six percent of all flying staff.
Read the full story at The Guardian.