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Pilot Natalie:

HI, my name is Natalie Sawaged. I was given the opportunity to share my story and how I

became interested in Aviation. Let me tell ya a little about myself first.

I was born in New Jersey and lived there for about five years. I moved to Jordan & lived therefor 7 years then moved to Denver, Colorado almost ten years ago. My Parents are Jordanian and so they really wanted me to experience life in Jordan and learn the language and the culture. I’m a full time electrical engineering student at the University of Colorado Denver. Growing up the only thing I was taught to excel at was school, so I was always so hesitant to try a cool hobby, until last year when I decided to take my discovery flight, and fell in love with flying.

I actually used to be TERRIFIED of airplanes. I know, crazy, because I fly them now. Living in the middle east was always fun, except when you would watch the news and hear airplanes fly by and other countries there were getting bombed. I was terrified of how airplanes sounded because I always associated them with something bad about to happen. I started seeing pilots on my instagram page and I just started doing research out of curiosity, seeing how long it takes to become a pilot, and what schooling you have to go through, etc. I started doing research and then completely stopped and thought I wasn’t capable of doing this. I put it off for A YEAR... Then finally got my discovery flight and fell in love with flying. I’m currently attending McAir Aviation and working for my private pilot’s license, and then eventually getting my instrument rating. I want to keep this as a hobby for now. That being said, I am very thankful to have the instructor that I have to teach me and be patient with me.

Just like anything else, there were a few things that got in the way and were very challenging. I didn’t start at the best school. I did all of the research on my own so there were still some things that I didn’t know about. I slowly started to feel anxious to fly because I felt like I didn’t know enough and started doubting myself. I realised that I love flying and it's something I won’t give up on. My friend Austin helped redirect me to a better flight school (The one I’m currently attending) and recommended the current CFI that I have now, she is really great and helpful. I just needed to get myself back up and flying. Ground school always scared me for some reason, so that was really challenging for me to just even start on my ground school. I finally told myself that I need to start to continue my journey. I went online and signed up for King School & studied really hard. I dedicated a month to just study study study, and it paid off. I’m also a full time electrical engineering student at the University of Colorado Denver, which means I’m EXTREMELY busy during the semester. Because of school I wasn’t able to fly AT ALL the whole time the semester was going on. It can get very overwhelming, which is why I wasn’t too

hard on myself.

I also met AMAZING people through aviation, and I will forever be grateful for them. I became close friends with many pilots. An amazing community to support and help lift each other up no matter what.

My goal is to buy my own plane in the next year or so. I want to continue flying for as long as I can. I might take longer than I wanted to get my pilot’s license because of my engineering degree, but I know that I’ll eventually get there. In 10 years I’ll probably be living somewhere in California or Colorado but who knows. I’d like to have my own plane, a nice job, a family, and of course cute puppies.

One advice I have for anyone reading this is don’t give up on your dreams no matter how crazy you might think they are. You’re capable of anything you put your mind to. If two years ago I told myself that I’d be flying planes today, I’d literally LAUGH. But here I am, almost a private pilot. Be determined, kind, and believe in yourself because you got this!!

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