Hey Friends! My name is Angelyn. I was born and raised in Oregon. The Pacific Northwest is where I call home. I attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Soon after, I accepted a position as a Flight Attendant for the recently departed Compass Airlines. After a year working for the airline I had caught the flying bug. I ultimately realized that what I really wanted was to be a pilot and that I wouldn’t settle for anything less!
For as long as I can remember I have always been fascinated by flying. It was absolutely magical to me. My grandpa would tell me stories of when he flew P-47s in the army during WWII. My friend and mentor, Warren Twiggs, flew airplanes for about 60 years and quickly became someone I aspired to be. Both of these amazing men in my life passed away but will always remain the driving force in my pursuit of becoming a pilot they could be proud of. Then on my 16th birthday my dad surprised me with my very first flight lesson. I remember exactly how I felt when the instructor told me to take off. Incredible. I had never felt more alive in my life.
Unfortunately, after my first flight it was determined that we could not afford to put me through flight training. Being as I was in high school I had to accept that it might not be till later on in life that I would get that opportunity again. While working for Compass Airlines I got to experience first hand what it was like. I spent so much time bugging the pilots and starring into the flight deck... I was mesmerized. After a year I decided to take action and sought out flight training for my Private Pilot Certificate at Rainier Flight Service in Renton, WA. In order to afford the flight training this time around I worked two jobs, one as a Flight Attendant and the other as a barista at a coffee shop in Seatac International Airport (SEA). I scheduled my training around work which brought me some interesting memories such as my first landing in an airplane happened to be at night.
When it came time for my Check-ride I left both of my jobs and moved back home to focus on my training more. I accepted a job at a small airport near my house where I was to continue training for my Instrument Rating. Wrapping up my PPL definitely took longer than I had planned. I was already moved back home but still needed to finish my Check-ride in Renton, WA. My Private Pilot Check-ride was discontinued 7 times for weather and 1 time for a mechanical fault. I drove up all 8 times which was about a 3-4 hour drive one way. I finally finished the Check-ride on the 9th attempt a day before the oral portion of my Check-ride was going to expire. As fellow aviators know the oral expires 60 days after it has been completed. It took nearly two months for my Check-ride alone. I ended up finishing my PPL one year exactly from the date I was issued my Student Pilot Certificate.
I got to experience a whole new side of aviation as a Line Technician at the Albany Municipal Airport. My days were early and long but they were probably the most rewarding! I started my Instrument training at 6am and then went to work a full 8-5 day. I really enjoyed running around fuelling and moving airplanes with a little green tractor. There is a lot of work that goes into flying outside of the actual flying part! The job made me appreciate the chance to be apart of something special.
I did the most diverse flying while working here. From getting to perform wing overs in a Steerman to taking a little Ultralight up and over power lines. It was a very busy GA airport and there was no shortage of Interesting people! I met so many awesome aviators in my time there. They all inspired me to be the best pilot I can be. Especially my dear friend, Justin Winfrey, who taught me the most about life and how nothing is ever bad for too long. He was an amazing person who loved Aviation more than anything. The spirit he brought to this industry is something I will carry with me forever. I miss him and I know I will never get to see or talk to him again but I know that he will always be with me when I fly.
Eventually, I did get to a point where I wanted to get my ratings done a little quicker. I loved working at Albany but it was time for my next adventure! That is when I sought out ATP Flight School. I visited their location in Hillsboro, OR where I immediately signed up and started knocking out my training. I finished up my Instrument Rating and went directly into crew which was my favourite part of training. Crew is where you basically go fly a ton of cross country time with another Instrument rated pilot. We flew all over Arizona and California and I got to experience a whole new environment of flying. This is the part of my training where I really learned flying responsibility. We got into situations we never had experienced before but our training really came through and we were able to make good decisions. Real world experience is what it is all about! After crew I zoomed through Commercial - Single Engine & Commercial Multi Engine. As we all know the COVID-19 situation has put many of us back but all we can do is keep moving forward and keep reaching for our dreams.
Currently, I am working on my initial Certified Flight Instructor certificate. Because of the virus we are conducting ground school online which has been challenging. Soon I’ll be heading to Dallas, TX where I will do the flight training portion that includes spin training and then Check-ride by mid June! This is the hardest certificate yet but I know that whatever is worth having won’t come easy.
To quote Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
As for future plans I have known what I wanted from the start. My end goal is to be left seat on a Boeing 777. That is my dream and I will not stop till I get there. For the short term I will be getting all the way through my CFI certificates and instructing until I have reached minimum time to go to a regional airline.
My number one advice to anyone wanting to be a pilot is to persevere! Anything worth having will be difficult. I believe in hard work and drive. If you have those two things there is nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams ❤ ✈.