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

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ciara Thompson, Why I Want to Fly

When I was young, my dream was to be an engineer. With my mother’s help I was introduced to WAASPS, an aircraft building and flight training centre in Kpong, Ghana. That was the beginning of flying for me.

Ciara Thompson

My name is Ciara Thompson and I want to fly. My first flight experience was in an X-air Falcon with the registration number 9GZAA. That day was just another day for me. I did not expect anything. It was just going to be fifteen minutes in a small airplane. When I sat in the plane and took off, it was no longer nothing. It was everything. I felt like a bird, free. Looking down was another thing, the earth was beautiful- different patterns with a myriad of colours, miniature houses, humans, and animals- no painting can compare. The negative G’s made me feel like a lot of people do in a roller coaster. The G’s made me want to scream. The experience was a mixed feeling of trepidation and exhilaration. 

Why I want to fly

After that experience, I want to fly. Why do I want to fly? I want to fly because it makes me light up like a beam. It gives me time to relax and appreciate life. I want to fly because like many things it is a challenge and I love to be challenged. It is hard work but at the same time fun, which cannot be said of many things. I want to fly because it is a dream that was born in me the first time I took a flight. I want to see this dream fulfilled. 

I want to be like a bird, twist and twirl all I want. Glide and take off, spin and roll, yaw and turn. I love the power on take off and the feeling I get each time the plane leaves the surface of the earth. I want to fly because the earth looks more beautiful and serene from above.  I want to look down my side as I turn and see the earth below. I want to see the world covered with greens, yellows, reds, blues, browns, and whites. 

I want to drift in the midst of the clouds and over the clouds. I want to see the horizon in a distance which outlines the magnificent shape of the earth. I want to see the sun rise and set from the sky and the moon take over its place. I want to be with the stars, see them closer and larger, even in the morning. I want to go soaring into the sky through the troposphere, tropopause, and stratosphere. I want to experience the challenge of flying at night.  I want to fly the turbulence as it picks one wing and control the plane to overcome nature. 

I want to fly because it gives me a better understanding of the world I live in. During one of my lessons, my instructor and I were caught up in a storm and almost sucked up by a cumulonimbus cloud. Since then I do not have to be told about the energy of clouds and the dangers of flying in a cloud, because now I know. 

I want to fly because each flight makes me a better person in terms of safety and security, precision and planning. Each flight teaches me more and expands my sphere of opportunities. Flying is not only about controlling the plane but entails navigation, meteorology, engineering and safety. It is a holistic approach to life. I want to fly to be a better engineer; to break the boundary between engineers and pilots. I want to design the engineers’ dream which is pragmatic and desiring to the pilot. I am the pilots’ friend: I am one of them.   

I want to fly because I live in a society where flying is an uncommon dream for a female. I want to show my world that it is not about gender but about passion. 
I want to fly because I love to fly.

Thank you for a beautiful essay Ciara. Your words are gift to all pilots as a reminder why we love to fly, and how fortunate we are to be living the dream. Keep smiling! 

Enjoy the Journey!
~ Karlene


  1. A very well written essay, and a well deserved win, congratulations Ciara and good luck :)

  2. So poetic and passionate! Best of luck to Ciara on her journey!

  3. Passion makes us to keep motivation up. I do agree with you:) very very nice.We should not regret in this life time,so we should pursuit of dream even if we have hard time.I am so glad I know this blog.because knowing many people who have passion is amazing for me.

    Thank you very very much Karlene san and Ciara san for shaing:)
    have a good day.

  4. What a good writer! It looks like Karlene may have some competition.

    Can Ciara keep us up to date on her journey with a blog?

  5. A truly beautiful essay. I love how she put it, "it is everything." That's when you know you're meant to do something! May all your dreams come true Ciara.

  6. Thank you Jo. Her essay was well written, and I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I can't tell you how hard it was to select winners.

  7. Thanks for your comment Vic. You know exactly how she feels too!

  8. Jun, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I too am glad you know this blog. You motivate me every day. Thank you!

  9. Hi D.B. She is an incredible writer. I can't compete with that. I'm just so happy to share her work. And, she doesn't have great access to the internet in Ghana. The girls who entered work with Captain Yaw... Jonathan Porter... (check him out, he was a Friday Flyer) and he does their email for them. They truly are a team.

  10. Thank you for a wonderful comment Heather. I know all her dreams will come true because she has a passion. Just as yours will too.

  11. Ciara has managed to capture all the feelings I had about flight but have been unable to explain to other people. If you have the passion you can only but succeed.

  12. Ciara is a student at the AvTech Academy. Supported by WAASPS and Medicine on the Move. ( Each year we select 4 students for a 4 year programme. We seek sponsorship of around $5,000 per year for the 4 years per student - and as you can see they really are worth all the effort we make with them. Thank you all for appreciating the sentiments of our youngsters!

  13. Bravo Ciara!!! Very well written.

    D.B. GREAT idea!!!.. I'll see what I can do about that (I'm secretly the MoM WebMaster... shhh don't tell anyone ;P)

  14. Capt Daags, you are so right. That's why I loved this essay. She captured it. Thanks for your comment!

  15. Capt Yaw, you are doing incredible things down there for the ladies. Keep up the great work!!! Thank you so much for your contribution to making our world a better place to live.

  16. Stol Jockey... Yeah! Now you have a project. If anyone can make it happen, you can! Keep me posted.

  17. Ciara will be starting a regular Blog column at - so many people have asked for 'more'!

  18. Yeah Ciara! I'm thinking she needs to be a Friday Fabulous flyer to kick off her blog!

  19. Ciara, this is a special message from your Mom. You've made her very proud!

    Ciara, thank you for making your Mom so proud of the day I drove up to Kpong with you and your siblings in tow. Yeah we got lost for a minute, but we didn't stay lost. I'm glad you have that "go for it" attitude. Remember beam me up!!!


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