“I Have 8 Years of Flying Experience.” A Young Pilot Is Often Mistaken for a Flight Attendant, So She Decided to Challenge This Stereotype
Recently, a TikTok video about a female pilot who is often mistaken for a flight attendant due to her young age became viral. Meanwhile, 22-year-old Sabrina Johnson is a professional pilot with 8 years of experience. We were curious to find out how she managed to become a pilot that early in life and why she’s become a source of inspiration for thousands people all over the world.
Her meteoric career
Sabrina was lucky to be born into the family who supported her passion for aviation. At the age of 14, she joined pilot training courses, and at 16, she performed her first solo flight. A year later, Johnson became a private pilot. Meanwhile, she also graduated from high school and enrolled in college.
Piloting could remain her teenage hobby, but she chose to make it her profession. Sabrina studied hard for 3 years to become a flight instructor. She skipped parties at college to dedicate all her time to flying. She continued to study even during her vacations. This is how strong her desire was to become a pilot and a flight instructor as soon as possible.
So, at 20, she graduated from college as a flight instructor with a helicopter pilot license. Soon she got her first piloting job. It might be surprising to you that a 22-year-old girl could get such a responsible job, but by that time she had already had 8 years of experience.
Sabrina Johnson says that she’s often mistaken for a flight attendant by both passengers and airport employees despite the fact that she’s dressed in her pilot uniform. And when it happened again, Sabrina decided to make a short TikTok video which went viral immediately. The young pilot doesn’t try to hide that these stereotypes annoy her.
However, if we take a peek at the statistics, it’ll become clear why this happens to Johnson that often. Less than a third of all US pilots are women, while 70.7% are men. Besides, the average age of a pilot is 45 years old.
Sabrina’s TikTok video was viewed by more than 2 million people. She caught attention of the mass media, and now she’s often invited to podcasts and TV shows. And this happened because a lot people can relate to Sabrina’s story, as they encounter prejudice and stereotypes every day. Internet users wrote in the comments that they are also often mistaken as “assistants” or “designers,” rather than “engineers” and “surgeons” due to their age or appearance.
“By the time I’m 34, I will have had 20 years experience with aviation. I just started early and you can too.” These Sabrina’s words also became viral. Thanks to them, the young pilot has become a source of inspiration for many people.
However, her sudden fame wasn’t all sunshine and roses. She had to deal with quite a lot of haters who believed that she wasn’t good enough to pilot an airplane. But she tries not to pay attention to them and continues to post videos about her fascinating job because many people support her in this.
Today, Johnson continues her education and combines it with her work as a pilot. In 2022, she officially became a helicopter flight instructor, and her father was one of her first students. It was him who supported her and helped her make her dream come true.
So now it’s Sabrina’s turn to help others with their dreams because she is a real role model who proves that hard work and persistence are key in achieving your coveted goals in life.
What other professions do you know that used to be dominated only by men or women in the past, but have become unisex now?