Flying through Glass Ceilings
Skylar Shaffer becomes one of L3 Airline Academy’s High School Senior Merit Scholarship Winners
Skylar Shaffer’s desire to become a pilot began when she attended an airshow in Dayton Beach. She was given the opportunity to explore the cockpit of a military jet, and it was then, while she sat in the captain’s chair, staring at the controls, that she realized she wanted to be a pilot. “I was overwhelmed by the machine’s magnificence,” Skylar said, “something about all the different switches, buttons and levers absolutely fascinated me. It was then that I realized I wanted to further pursue flying, and learn how to control such a complicated machine.”
Soon after, Skylar began her flight journey. She decided to start flight training, and now has a little over thirty hours in the air, and is halfway through her training to receive her private pilot’s license. “Every time I leave my training, I feel so accomplished knowing I am only hours closer to my dream,” Skylar said.
Skylar doesn’t look at the low percentile of female pilots as a hindrance, but instead as a privilege and honor. Right now according to the FAA, just 4.4% of all pilots licensed to fly a commercial U.S. jetliner in 2016 were women. And that number has barely moved since 2007, when women held 3.8% of such licenses. But Skylar is undaunted by those numbers, and is instead excited to bring diversity to a male dominated industry, as well as to the L3 Airline Academy campus, “I believe I could add diversity to L3 Airline Academy and help show that anyone can achieve their dream of being a pilot through this program,” Skylar said.
Now that Skylar has graduated from High School, she is ready to dedicate herself to her dream fulltime. Being from Florida, Skylar heard about L3 Airline Academy and decided to apply for the High School Senior Merit Scholarship to help fund her training. This is the second year that L3 Airline Academy has offered the High School Senior Merit Scholarship program, which is the first of its kind in the pilot training industry. The scholarship program is designed to offer financial assistance to qualified individuals passionate about a career in aviation. Skylar has been awarded $35,000 towards her tuition for flight training at L3 Airline Academy.
“I look forward to when I will spend my working days in the clouds,” Skylar said, “I don’t think I can be a great female pilot…I know I can!”