Kids still dream of being a pilot

A new poll conducted by British Airways shows that working as a pilot is still a dream job for some kids.

The independent research poll of 650 children aged 6-12 years revealed that being a footballer (soccer player) is the number one goal for boys, along with being a pilot, and a superhero.

Meanwhile, girls hope to become teachers, vets and medical staff when they grow up.

Some of the more unusual jobs that children nominated were: a Formula One driver, a shark fisherman, an inventor, a monster truck driver, a pirate, a princess and  a tree house builder.

The findings also showed regional differences: Children in London and Wales grow up wanting to be pilots, kids in Northern Ireland aspire to be Superheroes, youngsters from the South West hope to be teachers, children in the North West aspire to be footballers and Scottish kids hope to be vets.

As an official partner of Disney’s new movie “Planes” the airline has renamed an aircraft “Bulldog” after the British aircraft in the film, voiced by John Cleese. The film will be shown on board flights from September and promises to be one of the most popular family films on board this year, airline officials said.

Comments

  1. says

    It is inspiring to hear young people continue to dream about flying and becoming a professional pilot. The path to a career in aviation is varied, challenging, and rewarding.

    One of the most important aspects of choosing a career is to follow your passion. We should encourage our youth to pursue their dream of becoming a pilot while giving them guidance on how to achieve their dream. Becoming an airline pilot is challenging in many ways. Overcoming the financial, academic, and personal challenges are part of what makes a career as an airline pilot rewarding.

    Carl Valeri
    Host of Aviation Careers Podcast

  2. Bill Robinson says

    There are always the nay Sayers that say how bad things are. If you find you don’t like flying or the price is too high to pay leave the industry. Don’t sit around and complain and spoil the air for those of us love our work. It’s true you forget how tough things were but the journey in a life time of flying is well worth the effort. I’ve been a pilot for 47 years and I can say I still look forward for the next trip. It beats working for a living any day

    • Arend Rietkerk says

      I fly for a living since 1987.
      And once thought of starting a flight school.
      Cessna however wanted $ 250 000.00 for a CE172.
      Guess what ?
      No flight school
      If working class kids can’t become pilots the aviation industry is doomed. Because the kids from wealthy parents will be primed to become investors/bankers/lawyers.

      The aviation industry has signed its own death warrant.

      The fun thing is, that there is no reason why a CE172’s can’t be produced for $ 25 000.00

  3. Drmarkflies says

    Too bad the top jobs for girls and boys make about the same out of school… Pilots and vets. I have both credentials and pay for the licenses selling real estate.

  4. Jay says

    It’s because they haven’t figured out yet that airline pilots make $20K/yr US and get stuck in those positions with minimal raises for years on end. College degree + flight training generally is well over $100K these days. This isn’t a good job, very few people can make it to the glamorous transatlantic captain position, since there simply aren’t that many of them. A good job is something you are interested in that doesn’t treat you like dirt and leaves you with enough money to own and fly a plane where you want when you want.

  5. Jay says

    I thought it was against modern law for boys to be different than girls?
    If this keeps up, next thing you know heterosexual marriage will be legal again.

  6. Cholo Pocholo says

    I have not watched the Planes yet :-/ Well anyways, I like the responses and I agree to them too. The statement ” ‘ “The findings also showed regional differences: Children in London and Wales grow up wanting to be pilots, kids in Northern Ireland aspire to be Superheroes, youngsters from the South West hope to be teachers, children in the North West aspire to be footballers and Scottish kids hope to be vets.” ‘ ” attracting to me as what are the reasons why.

  7. Greg says

    The Brits must be very disappointed to learn that kids still aspire to this dream, despite their concerted efforts to quash, vilify abandon and set off limits everything related to aviation. Read life accounts from life-long aviators and professionals, and many of them will tell you of their experiences as a child or teenager, going out to the local airport, watching airplanes, getting to know people, hitching a ride with someone, being taken under the wing of people who transmitted their knowledge and passion. Try that at an airport in Britain today. I went over to Biggin Hill the last time I was in the UK, thinking I might have a look at this storied airport – perhaps get lunch there as one would at so many airports in the US. At the triple-electrified, 30-foot high, barbed wire fence that surrounds the place, the security contingent warned me that my request to enter the airfield was illegal. Not only is it illegal to go anywhere near there, but to even think of it is grounds for calling the police. I guess I could fly in there, but they have dampened any desire I might have had to even want to go there. Brits are passionate about the HISTORY of their aviation, as well they might be, with such an illustrious past, but with regards to the present and future, they have made aviation so over-regulated and so expensive that young people today may be just as likely to develop a passion for nuclear power plant management as for aviation.

  8. Kurt Nelson says

    Sky King , Kirby Grant, was a family friend and I watched his show as a kid. I got my PPL right out of high school. My son just graduated and soloed too grad

  9. Keith says

    Very true David. Today there are really only two options. One: Earn a degree, join the military for ten years, then finally after 14 years, start entry level right seat in a regional/national airline. Or, two: Somehow put yourself through school and flight training, flight instruct for at least two years, then ether become a freight dog or regional pilot for a few years to get into the nationals. Both require frightening commitments, but some people, me included, are willing to make the sacrifices because of their love of aviation.

  10. David says

    There are many of us who aspire to be pilots, but there are very few of us who can afford the initial investment of becoming one. It’s a $100,000 investment, out-of-pocket, before any airline will hire you.

    • Jacques Dery says

      Hi David,

      You are right. However, presented in this fashion, makes it seem like an unsurmountable mountain.

      You can hang around the club, do work to pay off the training, do the commercial license and instructor, start working for hire as an instructor, offsetting the cost of instruction. Once you got enough hours you can do the ATP. Aviation is a career where you have to pay to get there… As with any dream or aspiration, you have to make it happen.

      At 15 – 20 years old, few of us have the maturity to make career committment; we take these matters litely as we figure we have plenty of time. An aviation career starts very young. Companies hire mainly pilots in their late 20. It’s sad I was not presented with a clear path when I was 15-20, because, lacking the maturity, I needed to be inspired.

      Jacques

  11. David says

    There are many of us who aspire to be pilots, but there are very few of us who can afford the initial investment of becoming one. It’s a $300,000 investment, out-of-pocket, before any airline will hire you.

  12. Mike Klaene says

    I grew up watching ‘Sky King’ and had wanted to be a pilot which was achieved after my youngest graduated from college in 1993. US airlines did not have an ab-initio program in the ’70s due to the availability of military trained pilots.
    Boys are more interested in flying – as a general rule. This I learned as a pilot in the CAP – male cadets, in general, loved the ‘O’ flights while female cadets generally did not – even if going up with a female pilot.

    • says

      Mike,
      You story is nearly identical to mine. I got my private license in 1968 thanks to CAP, but never got to commercial because of the cost. Finally 35 years years later, I’m a CFI-S and a professional pilot and I can die happy.

    • Kristin says

      I fly a lot of young girls in Young Eagle events and many are very interested in becoming pilots. Some did not think that could before the flight with me. One key thing I have learned: when around boys, girls will hang back and show much less interest in the airplanes. In a girls-only situation, the girls behave just like the boys do around airplanes. So the secret to seeing girls’ true interests is to work some with the girls alone around airplanes.

      The results of this particular study are probably correlated 100% with the media images and adult role models in these children’s lives. How many of their teachers and doctors are women? How many movies feature women pilots as routine? How many star footballers are men?

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