The sky’s the limit for flight student Mackenzie Kerr. Right now she’s in training to earn her pilots license. As she explains, learning to fly a plane is in her blood.
“Both of my grandfathers have been pilots, a helicopter pilot and a float plane pilot mostly. They are who got me into flying.”
For the last year and half she’s logged more than 25 hours in the plane, all in pursuit of earning her pilots license.
“I am very proud that I’m taking on what my grandfathers have done their entire lives. The ability to fly and that one day I’ll be able to use our family planes and fly around the Prince George area. I’m pretty proud that I have the knowledge of how to fly and can use it in my career.”
Being a woman didn’t stop Kerr from taking on the task. But it’s a barrier that stops many. Only three per cent of commercial airline pilots in Canada are women.
“I think that it shouldn’t stop women. If they feel like they want to fly or have any other career in a male dominated career, it shouldn’t stop them yes it can be intimidating. But definitely don’t let it stop you. It’s easy to overcome those things and it’s just a mental barrier so you just have to break that down.”
Kerr’s instructor Greg Taylor says he has seen a slight increase in women pursuing their license in the last few of years.
“I’ve noticed that there are more female students coming into the aviation world. Especially here. We currently have three students that are actively pursuing their license.”
With organizations like the institution for women in aviation worldwide, the hope is that these numbers keep going up. Taylor says being a woman should not hold anyone back from pursuing their license.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a male you’re going to make a good pilot because you’re going to be trained the same way. Go through the same exercises, the same protocol, the same theory and you believe this is something that you want to do as a career or just for fun you’ll make that happen.
And Kerr’s message for girls and women out there, thinking about taking to the skies… it’s simple.
“You can do anything. Don’t let being a girl or woman stop you from pursuing a career or a goal or an ambition that you’ve had. You can do anything.”