Molly Sanderson, winner of FTA's survey competition at the Virgin Future Flyers and Expert Engineers back in January, came to FTA recently for her free 60-minute flight lesson. Read her Question & Answer session...
- Why do you want to learn to fly?
I've always loved flying and so I joined the air cadets. Whilst I was with them, I had several flying experiences and I’ve just always thought it'd be an exciting career.
- Did you receive information or careers advice at school about aviation or becoming a pilot?
I did receive a little bit but I followed it up after I'd seen a poster about flying around school.
- Did a particular role model or event that sparked your interest in aviation?
When I was 7, my family and I were the first on the plane during a flight; the pilot invited us to go and look at the cockpit and since then I have always taken an interest in aviation.
- Is anyone in your family in aviation? What role do they have?
My great uncle is the only person in the family who was in aviation. He was a pilot in the navy and then worked for Delta Airlines for more than 30 years.
- How did you feel when you found out you had won a flight lesson with FTA at the Virgin Future Flyers Exhibition?
I was quite surprised and extremely excited when I found out.
- Would you like to become a pilot or pursue another career in aviation? What sort of flying do you want to do?
I would love to pursue a career in aviation as a commercial pilot one day.
- What did you think of FTA’s facilities, your instructor and the training aircraft that you flew in?
FTA’s facilities were very modern and accessible; all the staff I met were friendly and efficient. My instructor, Alex, was extremely helpful and easy-going, so it made me feel relaxed. Alex explained things carefully and clearly, so I knew exactly what I was doing. He also gave me lots of information about FTA to help me in the future. I found the controls of the Diamond training aircraft quite sensitive at first but I got used to them after a while; although it was still weird flying for the first time.
- What did you think of your flight experience?
At the beginning I was relatively nervous but during the flight I became more comfortable and really enjoyed it! It was such a great thing to do and really made me realise that I definitely want to fly.
- How has this trial flight at FTA inspired you?
It’s inspired me to pursue my desire to have a career in aviation and work out ways to enable me to do this.
- What would you say to other women, considering a career in aviation?
To give it a go and try it out, don't just discount it because you’re a woman.
- Do you think there are any barriers that stop women pursuing a career in aviation?
I do yes, it’s perceived as a male dominated career and that can perhaps put woman off the idea. I feel women are not really encouraged to go into this sort of aviation profession. It's also not seen as a very family friendly career for women, which could also deter women.
- When did you first see or fly with a female pilot on a commercial airline?
I have flown with female pilots before but my most recent experience was in February this year, when we flew with BA.