This 17-Yr-Old St Lucian Could Soon Become The Caribbean’s Youngest Commercial Pilot

This 17-Yr-Old St Lucian Could Soon Become The Caribbean's Youngest Commercial Pilot 1

At 17, she is still a teenager but this young woman from St Lucia, is a few steps away from becoming a commercial pilot and perhaps the Caribbean’s youngest.

I had a one on one interview recently with Claire Daisy Charra and I am impress!

Could you tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Claire Daisy Charra, I am currently 17 years old I will be 18 November 7th. I was born in 1998.

I first started flying April 1st 2016 and fell in love with it the instant! I fly planes, that’s my life. My life begins when I am airborne.

I am the youngest of two sisters. I was raised in St.Lucia with my sisters and grandfather and went to the International school of St.Lucia. I was very disorganized and irresponsible.

What advice did your grandparents or parents give you that you remember best?

My grandfather always used to tell me,

“You should be like a pilot, they are organized and they don’t forget anything because they use a checklist!! You should make one”.

And it went on and on and on!

What inspired you to pursue this career?
When I was 14 years old he passed away and I moved in with my parents. I became a pilot, like we both dreamed. I had to pull my socks up and get this done not only for myself, but for him.

In Dominica, I finished my last two years of high school and did my CXC’s and got 5 ones, 3 twos and 1 three, in geography. Who would have thought ?

My parents were very supportive and agreed to help me with my career goals and found the school, Cirrus Aviation, which is a small flight school located on the West coast of Florida and I can’t thank them enough for choosing this one!

Some people might feel a bit nervous about being flown by a young pilot. How would you respond to that?
clairePeople often feel intimidated by the fact that I am working towards my commercial rating at the age of 17 years old.That’s completely fine, I tell everybody the same thing. I have been trained by a very experienced retired army colonel, who has taken me under his wing to ensure that I get the best training I can get.

I am just as competent as any other mid aged male pilot. I do the exact same emergency procedures, training and flights required towards getting my rating. I take the exact same check ride and exams as they do. I just happen to be a 17 year old female from the Caribbean.

What challenges have you faced along the way to where you are now?
I faced many issues when I first started. I was a 17 year old girl, who knew nothing about flying coming in to fly with the “big boys”

And that is exactly how everybody looked at me. Some thought it was a joke, some said I would never make it.

I would like to take the time out to say I currently have my private pilot’s license, and my instrument rating, half way done my commercial training in exactly 7 months.

I think I did pretty well for myself. I never gave up, I spent hours studying, I went full throttle to prove myself, and everybody wrong. I love making my parents proud and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here today.

What advice would you give to young people who are interested in becoming pilots?
I enjoy teaching others and sharing my passion about aviation with others.

After my commercial training, I will start my instructor courses to get my “CFI,CFII, and MEI” till I have enough hours to go into the airlines or corporate business. I’ll go with anybody who will take me! The first job is always the hardest to nail.

What advice would you give to young people who are interested in becoming pilots?
My advice to others who are seeking to go after their dreams is- The CLUB CAN WAIT. FRIENDS CAN WAIT!

Clear your path from any negativity and stay determined. Never lose track of what you want in life. If you are given the opportunity, hang onto it, grab it! Surround yourself with positive people who will push you when you fall short and have faith that the Lord has a plan for you.

You’re a woman; do you think this could make a difference for an employer looking for pilots?
I am a woman, but I do not use it to my advantage when it comes to flying, being a woman does not help you much in the aviation industry. It is set out that it is a man’s job and a man’s job only. Prove them wrong! But not because you are a woman, but because you are capable of accepting the responsibilities and working hard.

Make being a woman a bonus, not an exception.

People think because you are a woman they make it easy for you, on the contrary. It’s harder because they think we are not capable. So for me, I had to work even harder to prove myself. For my check ride, my examiner said,

“That was in the top three best flights I’ve ever done.”

I’ve worked very hard to be where I am today, I owe my success to God for being with me every step of the way, and my parents for supporting me all the way from the Caribbean.

Claire Daisy Charra

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