Photo Credit: Ghanaweb
Ghana's Youngest Female Commercial Pilot Is Only 21-Years-Old
Audrey Maame Esi Swatson made history as the youngest female commercial pilot in Ghana when she obtained her commercial license at the age of 21. It’s the culmination of a three-year training program that started at Mach1 Aviation Academy in South Africa, where she enrolled when she was 18-years-old.
A year later, at the age of 19, she embarked on her first solo flight. Her commercial license was awarded after amassing a total of 210 hours flown. Swatson is currently a First Officer with Passion Air in Ghana, operating the Dash 8 Q-400 aircraft.
In an interview, Swatson admitted to having moments of doubt in her ability and she considered ditching her aviation aspirations altogether. But when she looked back at how far she had come and how close the finish line was, it lit a fire under her to complete her journey. Swatson credits her faith and family, among others, for helping her accomplish the impressive feat.
“Apart from God and my parents, I owe everything I am and everything I hope to be, to school. Without the education I have received during my lifetime, the friends I have met and have networked with, the great teachers that have been there for me since day one, I would not be able to move on to a more positive place in my life. I would not be able to have a chance to even become a pilot,” said Swatson.
Now Swatson is fiercely passionate about something else — paying it forward. She is the founder of her own aviation company, aptly titled Excel Aviation, which aims to inspire other young women to pursue careers in aviation. Among Swatson’s other goals are plans to provide an annual flight training scholarship to Ghanaian girls, establishing a flight training school in Ghana, and eventually becoming a captain herself.