Introducing First Officer Pilot, Chrystal Walker

Chrystal Walker, First Pilot Officer

Recently Chrystal shared her career journey as a Pilot with us. Chrystal tells us how she came into her line of work and has some advice for those aspiring to a career in aviation.

The start

Chrystal began her aviation journey back in 2001. “I started my journey at 43 Air School in Port Alfred after I finished high school. They have a well-planned and very structured pilot training programme, which meant I received my Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) before the end of the year. In that year, training also included 40 hours to earn my Private Pilot Licence (PPL), which is for recreational flying. Further commercial training included learning to fly at night as well as in and above the clouds, flying more complex twin-engine aircraft and eight commercial pilot exams.”


“In order to complete the course, you need to pass 8–14 (depending on your country) aviation-related exams. The exams are usually multiple choice – which sounds easier than you think – and include subjects like flight planning, meteorology, navigation, instrumentation, aircraft technical, etc. Of course, you would also need to pass the actual flying tests too,” Chrystal says.

Career Pride

Chrystal tells us what she loves most about her career as a Pilot. “There is nothing more inspiring than watching the sun rise while everyone else is asleep behind you. The views from the flight deck are epic. Also, the feeling you get arriving at the world’s largest airports and knowing “you” were the one to safely land that great, big machine creates a sense of pride I know would be difficult to acquire in any other job,” she says.

Words of advice

Chrystal says those who aspire to a career in aviation should not limit themselves in any way from achieving their career desires. “Have a positive personality and obtain the right skills, and you’re set,” Chrystal says.