Hi, my name is Charlotte Carey Tampubolon and I’m an aviatrix in training. I was born in Southern California but I currently reside in the UK. Here’s a bit of a story about myself.
I’ve always wanted to become a pilot. When I was young my dad and I would bike down to Burbank Airport and watch the planes take off and land. I vividly remember flying to London with my mother when I was 11 years old. I saw the pilots at our gates and thought what a cool job they have. I wanted to be just like them one day. After our London trip I started watching videos of British Airways planes taking off and landing. I started researching different types of aircraft and imagining myself one day flying. I would go hiking in the hills in California and watch the planes float in the air as they came into LAX.
I didn’t know where my ‘itch’ for planes came from until I turned 26. This was because I didn’t know anything about my biological father’s history untiI I met some of his family after finding them on Facebook when I was older. It was when they heard about my love for planes that they told me my great grandfather Geoffrey Legge was a pilot. He owned an airfield in Cornwall with his business partner William Moorhouse, who was also a RAF pilot. We went to Cornwall last year to see the airfield and his black hangar. I found out that Nick Grace rebuilt his Spitfire MK9 in that very hangar! It still stands today.
When I moved to England a few years ago, I took time off from my current job as a model to figure out what I wanted to do next in my life. My boyfriend told me, “why don’t you learn to become a pilot? You’re obsessed and you have this time off to try and take some lessons”. At the time I was a bit too nervous and kept saying ‘maybe one day’, but it didn’t stop him. One day he surprised me by driving into an aerodrome not far from where we were staying, and so I signed up. I couldn’t believe I was doing it! And that’s basically where it all began. I did my first lesson and quickly fell in love. I couldn’t wait to be up there again the moment we touched down.
I’m currently working on getting my PPL. I’ve been doing my lessons at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent. I eventually want to become a commercial pilot, so I’m currently working towards that goal. I’m still modelling at the moment which helps me pay for lessons and flight school in the future. My parents couldn’t afford lessons growing up so I’m very blessed that I’ve done well enough in my current job to be able to open up this new chapter in my life. Flying is something that I love and enjoy and that’s in my blood.
I think one of the big obstacles at the moment for me is the pandemic. The flight schools are closed because we’re in a national lockdown, so I’m not getting my hours in, and I’ll have to relearn things when I can get back in the cockpit. Also England’s weather is so unpredictable! There are times when you’ll be flying a lot, then weeks when it’s just too wet.
I see myself in 10 years with a job in aviation, hopefully for a big airline company so I can fly to Los Angeles from London, in one of those planes that I saw as a kid on the hills.