British Airways hosts student event to inspire future pilots

Trying out the simulator at the BA Flying Futures event (Image: BA / Stuart Bailey)
Trying out the simulator at the BA Flying Futures event (Image: BA / Stuart Bailey)

British Airways (BA/BAW) has hosted an event for students aimed at inspiring the pilots of the future.

Taking place last night at the airlines headquarters near Heathrow, the Flying Futures event saw 100 students have the opportunity to try out flying in the state of the art full motion simulators used to train real pilots.

The students were joined by pilots from across the airline including First Officers Rebecca Panther and Amie Kirkham spoke to the students about what flight training involves and what it means to be a pilot. They also set tasks for the students focusing on the vital skills not normally associated with the role, such as teamwork and communication.

Pilots were on hand to share their experiences and answer questions (Image: BA/Stuart Bailey)
Pilots were on hand to share their experiences and answer questions (Image: BA/Stuart Bailey)

British Airways Director of Flight Operations, Captain Al Bridger, said: “The whole team at British Airways is passionate about demonstrating to young people that flying really is a wonderful career, which is open to everyone. Through events like this we are aiming to inspire the pilots of tomorrow and, with determination, they can succeed.”

Amie added: “I love that through my role I am able to inspire girls and show them that they can absolutely pursue a career in aviation. When I was growing up I didn’t see any female pilots in real life or in the media, but we know that visible role models are so important in changing the perception that this is a man’s world – it’s most certainly a woman’s too.”

They potential class of 2022 also got to experience life in the captains seat with a virtual reality experience.

Trying out the Virtual Reality experience (Image: BA/Stuart Bailey)
Trying out the Virtual Reality experience (Image: BA/Stuart Bailey)

Simrath Virk, a student at Uxbridge College, who attended the event said: “I have always wanted to be a pilot, but didn’t really know where to start, as no-one I know has ever flown a plane. It was amazing being able to speak to lots of female pilots at the event, they were all so helpful and gave me loads of advice and you could tell they all loved their job; I’m even more determined to make my dream a reality now!”

About Nick Harding 543 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.