Jade Esler, 15, Canberra
Peering out the window, I was amazed. The world looked so small beneath us as we cruised through the sky. My dad, Ben, 44, and two grandfathers were all pilots, so flying was in my blood.
I’d always been fascinated by planes. As a little girl, I’d make my parents arrive at the airport hours before we departed, just so I could watch them take off. When I was five, Dad let me sit in the front passenger’s seat of an aircraft and showed me what each control was for. By seven, I was an expert. ‘I want to fly!’ I’d tell my parents.
By seven, I was an expert.
But it wasn’t until I was 13 that I found myself behind the controls with an instructor beside me. Everything felt right.As we climbed higher into the sky, I knew I wanted to be a pilot.
Determined to achieve my goals, I’d have to find a way to pay for flying lessons. My mum, Belinda, 45, suggested I set up a cupcake stall at our local markets. ‘We’ll call it The Sugar Bite,’ I smiled in agreement.
Before long, people were flocking to my stall. Every sale was another step closer to my dream of flying solo, which I could do on my 15th birthday.
When the day finally came, I was both nervous and ecstatic. As the plane picked up speed, everything seemed to disappear. I felt on top of the world as we flew through the air. Touching down again, I could see my family cheering me on.
It was then that it hit me. I had just flown a plane! And I couldn’t even drive a car yet!
Having just turned 15, I was the youngest female in the country to fly solo. Next year I plan on travelling to Europe, and one day I hope to work for a commercial airline over there.
I was born to fly!