Back in July I wrote about how EasyJet hired a 19 year old pilot, who must be one of the youngest airline pilots in the world. As a lifelong aviation geek I think it’s so awesome what he has accomplished at such a young age. Since he passed all his tests just like everyone else, there’s no reason his age should prevent him from accomplishing his dream.
Well, the airline is once again making the news this week for the age of one of their pilots. In this case it’s because EasyJet has just promoted a 26 year old to captain, making her the youngest airline captain on record.
Kate McWilliams, originally from Carlisle, told the Press Association she gets quizzed about her age by cabin crew and passengers almost every day and most are “pleasantly surprised and impressed” when she tells them her age.
She began flying aged 13 in the air cadets before embarking on a training programme at CTC Aviation in Southampton on her 19th birthday.
In May 2011 she joined easyJet as a first officer and recently took up the rank of captain after passing the airline’s command course.
It’s also nice to see that the reaction she’s getting has been mostly positive, since she potentially faces both agism and sexism, given the career she chose:
“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.
“Usually that question comes from the cabin crew but sometimes passengers ask too.
“When I tell them I’m 26, most people are pleasantly surprised and impressed with my achievement at such a young age.”
Congrats to Kate on her achievements! It’s especially awesome that the youngest airline captain is a female, given how few female pilots there still are. She’s an inspiration to others.
Now they need to have her operate a flight with the 19 year old first officer. At a combined age of 45, I suspect they’d be the youngest airline cockpit crew ever!