From FlyerTalk – The Guinness Book of World Records may have a new candidate for the youngest commercial airline First Officer. At 21, Jonathan Irwin recently joined British Airways as a First Officer, and will be assigned to fly an Airbus A320 aircraft from London Gatwick Airport (LGW). Irwin will fly on short-haul routes across Europe.
According to The Mortley Observer, being a pilot has always been young Irwin’s dream. At 16, Irwin piloted a glider solo. Irwin also spent six years training with Air Training Corps 168 Leeds after his gap year.
“Ever since he was 11, Jonathan wanted to become a pilot,” Irwin’s father, Paul, told The Mortley Observer. “We’re not an aviation family and he decided to go for it on his own … he’s living his dream and he is absolutely loving it.”
According to the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the minimum age to be licensed for a commercial pilot’s license is 18 if the pilot has earned an EASA Part-FCL Class 1 Medical Certificate and has met the training prerequisites. In addition, prospective pilots must meet qualification requirements based on the aircraft they plan on flying.
Irwin’s family could not be more proud and are happy to support him in his dream of ultimately becoming a Captain. “We are absolutely delighted,” Paul Irwin told The Mortley Observer. “It is a difficult profession and he has worked extremely hard … it’s worth it to help pursue his dream and to see him happy.”
Irwin’s family has positive words for anyone who wants to take to the skies as a pilot of their own. Paul Irwin said, “If anyone is thinking of becoming a pilot, then work hard and go for it!”
If you’re interested in checking out what the training is like to become a pilot, see my posts on British Airway’s new documentary.
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