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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Jake Lewis

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Jake Lewis

We all have those days, weeks, months where overload prevails. I love it when in the heat of the schedule, life gets easy. But how often does a fifteen-year-old make that happen? 

Jake Lewis is a superstar young man headed toward the sky. There is no doubt that he won't make his every dream come true. He's got what it takes to make it in his flying career ~ Passion. But there is more. Not only is he a pilot, but a fabulous writer.

How did Jake make my life easier? He emailed me the most enchanting post about his dreams to fly and his first experience. No editing was necessary. Please meet Jake Lewis. I hope that all aviators, future and present, will say hello and connect with him. We can all use a little support in our lives. And one of the best things about the Aviation community is the camaraderie we share.

Hi there! My names Jake, I'm 15, living in Belfast, and I aspire to be a commercial pilot some day.

I'll never forget the day, the day I decided that I want to be a pilot; Every since I was a kid, I always admired aviation, I was fascinated by anything that was able to fly, the noise of aircraft taking off, looking up at the sky and seeing an aircraft cruising at 37,000ft overhead, hearing pilots talking to ATC at my local airport, the screech of the tyres touching down on the runway, the smell of aviation in the air... You get the idea, I had fuelled up quite a bit of passion for aviation from a young age despite having no relation to the topic at all. I really don't know where it came from, but, ever since my ambition to fly, I have been given so many opportunities, opportunities that I've cherished ever since they happened.

It wasn't until a few years ago when I really decided that I want to become a commercial pilot, yes, I've always had the mindset to become one, but often people's ambitions change over time, mine hasn't, I still want to have the most glorious office in the world, and day by day, I want it even more, left seat or right seat, I am adamant to fly for a living; And I won't give up no matter how long it takes.

June of 2011... I came home to an envelope addressed 'Soon to be pilot, Jake Lewis' - In my fathers handwriting; I smiled, then one of the biggest grins appeared on my face as I was opening the envelope, I took out the contents and just looked at them, speechless, it was a gift voucher for a flying lesson, along with a pilots log book, aviation training manual, first flying lesson guide and a membership card for the 'Ulster Flying Club' in Newtownards. What can I say, my father knows me well.

It was approximately 11:30am - The weather was fair, a shower here and there, nothing extravagant though. I arrived at the flying club, not really sure what to expect, the simplicity of the club made the whole experience ten times better.

My father headed straight for the cafe and grabbed a quick cup o' coffee while I got my self introduced to the main guys that I would come across over the next while - Not forgetting my kiwi instructor, hard to understand at first, but with time, it got easier!

Once introduced to my instructor, we headed out to the apron and on to the aircraft. Bigger than what I was expecting but then again, I'd only saw this aircraft once or twice and even so, she was flying at around 3,000ft overhead!

Moving on, we got in to the compact cockpit and ran through the checklists after finishing our walk-around, then we contacted Newtownards radio with our callsign and requested the airfield information. - We were on our way, we quickly lined up with runway 22 and pushed throttle to full, upon reaching 65 knots, I heard my instructor say, 'Rotate' which I knew meant, pull up for takeoff, so I did just that - A great feeling, and a few butterflies in the stomach!

A moment, I'll never forget.

And so, my dream has begun, years of planning, years of considering, years of delegating and here I am, in the captain seat of the small Italian Tecnam P2002JF sat beside my seat clenching instructor.

Now with 7 hours in the logbook, so many doors have been opened up for me, one of which was becoming a member of the 'RAF Air Training Corps' where I have already been taken to Liverpool for a day to fly with them, and I'm also due to go to RAF Leuchers in Scotland, for week in July.

Aside from all that, I've met some of the most inspirational people, one of which, Karlene. I met Karlene through twitter when she direct messaged me about becoming a pilot, she gave me some good advice and has inspired me to go further to reach my ultimate goal - and from that day, I have been intrigued in the fantastic blog that she runs and follow it as much as I can.

I most certainly do not come from a wealthy or upper-class family, I'm just a normal kid, from a normal family, with the right attitude about getting what I want. Flying is for everyone, and is available for anyone, you just need to be motivated and dedicated to if you want to be a success, it really is that simple, and that is what I've learnt from the many aviators that I've met from across the globe.

Karlene's blog has inspired me, it has opened my eyes to see potential to help others out, to give them advice, to give them someone to talk to, to manage a place for them to interact; So I set up my very own blog, a blog in which I hope to inspire many people, to give them important tips and advice to help them follow in my footsteps, not only is this a blog for people wanting to become a commercial pilot one day, but this is also a blog for people that are just interested in aviation as whole and I would be very grateful if you could check it out and share it with your friends!

You can view the blog at Escapades of a Student Pilot. Please have a look and spread the word.

Alternatively you can contact me via Twitter at @JakeLewis23 and use #JakesAviation

I would like to thank both Karlene, and you, the reader for giving me the opportunity to reach out to others through my blog, a big, big thanks!

So there you have it, you know my story, so let me here your story, feel free to get in touch with me!

Sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

- Jake :-)

Jake, Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to all of us. Especially me. And please give your Dad a "huge" hug from me. There is no better gift to your child than supporting their dreams. 

For everyone else... Remember... Next week is Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.  And in Seattle... join us for the fun at the Museum of Flight WOMEN FLY events. And Please leave a comment for Jake, connect on Twitter and follow his blog. It's "really" good!

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene


  1. Very inspiring story, wish there were more people like him in teenagers nowadays.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I wish there were too. Sorry for the delay in comment. (This and Melissa's were buried in spam.)

  2. Jake!
    What an encouragement you are to me!
    Don't let anyone Ever tell you that your crazy for wanting to become a Commercial Pilot.
    You are going to make a wonderful pilot one day. Best of luck to you! My favorite part is all of it haha but when you talked about the letter from your dad...Wow, Awesome!
    Don't every give up! Remember the Sky isn't our limit...It's our playground ;]

    1. Melissa, thank you so much for the comment. I agree with you! Don't ever let anyone tell him... or you!

      I love this... yes... the sky is our playground. So seriously... I work in my playground. Life is good!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Craig. Amazing how one three letter word can explain it all.

  4. I looked at Jake's blog and it really is good! Keep up the good work and keep flying, Jake!

    1. Ruth, you are such a supporter of our future pilots. Thank you so much for comment. He's going to fly strong into his future.

  5. This is a great article Jake! I'm so glad I got in touch with you over email.

    It's always great to get in touch with some other people my age who share the same passion and dream. Love your blog! Looks great!

    Thanks for writing that, put a smile on my face,
    Swayne Martin

    1. Thank you for reaching out to Jake! You two will run parallel aviation paths. Both with a huge future ahead. There is nothing greater than having someone in love with your passion to share your experiences, concerns, rewards and setbacks. To celebrate and lift each other up. You both have a great road to travel... and so much fun. Thanks for your comment.

  6. There is no doubt that he won't make his every dream come true.

    Assuming his failure?

    1. Oh... there will be no failure. Failures are just a word for experience. We learn from them and grow. He's going to do GREAT!

  7. Karlene, I can't thank you enough for all the work that you put in to helping others out. You provided me with the opportunity to do just as you do yourself... Help people, inspire them and set an example - For that, I can't thank you enough.

    Jake -

    1. You are so welcome Jake! You will be inspiring people for many years. You've already inspired me. Keep up the great work!


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