Pilot Hayley:

Hey guys! My name is Hayley Herberg. I am currently a student pilot in Santa Cruz. My story of how I fell in love with aviation actually started a few years ago while I was in college at UC Santa Barbara. I was a student athlete who ran the 400m for their track and field team. While I still love running to this day, I knew I wanted to pursue something different.


I was taken up with my dog Kai in a little C172 in Palm Springs CA for my first flight at sunset. I remember feeling like I had never felt so happy and never seen such a beautiful sight. I knew at that moment I would love aviation.


Being in college, I have always had a hard time studying. I chose to wait until I graduated to pursue aviation and really give it my full attention. Once I moved back to Santa Cruz I decided it was time to start my training. I was hesitant at first, as I had needed double jaw surgery in April and knew it would take me longer than a couple months to achieve my PPL. I decided to go ahead and am so glad that I did.


I got my double jaw surgery in May because of the COVID outbreak. It was tough and I spent two weeks in Texas for the initial recovery. I had to wait atleast a month after my surgery to fly again. After flying every other day for months, you could say it was hard to sit on the couch. I spent the time studying and took my written when I returned home. Now I am flying again and getting ready for my checkride.


Training to be a pilot is definitely one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It requires a lot of study and hard work, but it’s worth it! There’s no other feeling like it. I’ve only been training for 5 months now, but I know it’s what I want to pursue as a career and work as a pilot for corporate jets. 


My advice to anyone reading this would be to never give up! There’s road bumps in everyone’s story to sit in that left seat. Whether it’s a surgery you need, or you’re worried about passing your tests, just be persistent and remember it’s not a race! Becoming the best pilot you can be takes time, enjoy the ride :)

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