UP AND AWAY: Jamie Towner, 15, has been learning to fly with Airways Aviation in Caloundra.
UP AND AWAY: Jamie Towner, 15, has been learning to fly with Airways Aviation in Caloundra. Warren Lynam

She's just 15 but Jamie's ready to start flying solo

WITH still more than a year left of high school, most youngsters would be prioritising the purchase of their first car or frantically saving for their Schoolies fund but Jamie Towner is no ordinary teenager.

With only 13 hours of training up her sleeve, the Caloundra resident took off on her first solo flight and hasn't looked back since.

Now with 25 hours on the clock, the Unity College student is eagerly awaiting her sixteenth birthday, when she can officially sit her practical flight test to become a pilot.

But there's no stopping her there. Ms Towner also hopes to obtain her jetski, boat and car learner's licences all in the one day.

The avid sportswoman said she'd probably feel more nervous driving a car than flying a plane.

"In my first flight I was a bit nervous and scared but every other flight since then I've been fine," she said.

"I did a couple of circuits with the instructor and then they just got out and I did a circuit by myself."

Ms Towner has been learning to fly and studying aviation with Caloundra-based company Airways Aviation for the last six months.

She said while her dad was a pilot she never considered it a career for herself until she was in the airport coming back from a holiday and realised she had great interest in the profession.

Now Ms Towner said all she can foresee is following in her dad's footsteps and pursuing a career in the airlines as a commercial pilot.

Her father, Jason Towner, said it was not very common for young people to get into aviation as lessons were quite cost-prohibitive.

"Jamie's paid for all her flying up until now by working at a cafe," he said.

"That was our deal, she paid for first licence which is about $7000 and that'd show me that she was keen.

"I'm looking forward to being her first official passenger."

Ms Towner said she was very proud of her achievement, even if it meant she has to forego her savings for her first car. She said she hoped her achievements would promote women in aviation by inspiring other young women to give it a go.



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