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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

21-year-old African Lady sets record as country’s youngest Pilot, establishes her own aviation company

A 21-year-old African lady named  Audrey Maame Esi Swatson has set a record as Ghana’s youngest Pilot. She also achieved the exceptional feat of owning an aviation company at a young age.

Audrey, born and raised in Ghana made history as the youngest female commercial pilot in her country after she was able to obtain her commercial license at the age of 21. She said she grew up with three other siblings together with parents who ensured they lived a comfortable, and well-mannered life.

“My parents demanded the best of efforts in everything you decide to do. Be it academics, sports, chores, playing, or church. And my only worry was a ball stuck underneath Daddy’s car in the compound when we played soccer,” she said.

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Audrey mentioned that after she graduated from Ghana Christian International High School, she proceeded to the Mach1 Aviation Academy in South Africa for her flight training. She mentioned that she shared her dreams of becoming a pilot with her father at the age of nine.

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Being her number one cheerleader, Audrey said her father started saving for her future dream. She stated that her journey to become a pilot had not always been a smooth one as there were times she felt like giving up.

”My dad said if I changed my mind not to fly, then he would keep the money to himself. So, together with my mum, they researched how to enroll in flight schools. I was just so excited to learn to fly and to be with other people who were passionate when I started training,” she said.

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Audrey recalls several pitfalls during her flight training as exams were getting quite tough for her in the beginning. She added that although she passed her exams, there were others she had to retake five times before she could make it.

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”It is the part of the training that most student pilots tear down their hopes of ever becoming a pilot. During that time for my training, I would think to myself that, ha! Maybe it is true that girls cannot do this thing. It is like they are right,” she said.

Audrey said apart from Jesus Christ and her parents, education has played a very important role in her journey of becoming a pilot. She added that education is not just about going to school for 12 years but rather, about helping to build character.

“I owe everything I am and everything I hope to be to school. Without the education I have received during my lifetime, the friends I have met and have networked with, and the great teachers that have been there for me since day one, I would not be able to move on to a more positive place in my life,” Audrey said.

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”I would not be able to have a chance to even become a pilot, to be given a chance to inspire other children that whatever they dream of, they can be. Education has fulfilled me and I am a more positive person because of it,” she added.

She has founded her own aviation company called Excel Aviation. Audrey stated that she aspires to be a Captain adding that she also looks forward to establishing an annual flight training scholarship for four Ghanaian girls with her Excel Aviation Company.

She also stated that she aspires to run a flight training school in Ghana which she said her father already helped her to put a documented plan together for. Advising other youngsters, Audrey said it is important they set high standards for themselves.

”You are never too young to make your dreams come true. Hold yourself to high standards, collaborate and support others. Set specific goals, take one day at a time yet having a long-term vision and plan,” she said.

 

 

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