Sarah Brewster Flies Towards Her Pilot’s License


Sophie Creager-Roberts, Staff Writer

Sitting in the cockpit, Sarah Brewster navigates her way through the sky while practicing speaking on the intercom and maneuvering with the various controls. Ever since Brewster was 11, she has been involved in the Civil Air Patrol; a year from this moment, she’s hoping to become a certified pilot.

Brewster attended the Texas Wing Powered Flight Academy this past summer and made enormous progress towards getting her pilot’s license through the Civil Air Patrol. In only one week, Brewster was able to complete ten contact hours flying, landing, and practicing different turning maneuvers with the plane. In a phone interview, instructor Brian Childs spoke of Sarah’s growth at the school this summer.

“When Sarah first started she couldn’t see over the dashboard since she’s very petite but has developed greatly and has become a role model for the other cadets,” Childs said.

In addition, he said that Brewster was one of only three girls in the academy in Texas and that she was also one of the youngest. Despite being in the minority, he says that she is extremely intelligent, analytical, and is eager to understand and use all of the instruments. Sarah’s love for flying began because her father helps with search and rescue missions. He has both his IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), and VFR (Visual Flight Rules) qualification, meaning he can fly visually and by also using just the instruments within the plane. Both of these certifications are ones Sarah hopes to someday achieve.  Although flying is fun, Sarah is also required to learn emergency procedures, radio protocols, and how to navigate the airplane on the GPS in various classes.

Even though she’s spent numerous hours flying and studying for certification exams, Brewster doesn’t want to become a commercial pilot or even enlist once she graduates.

“I want to be a doctor. My dad’s an entrepreneur and he flies, so it’s just a hobby,” Brewster said.

Sarah’s father, Jason Brewster, explained that even though flying may not lead to a career, it can teach someone many life lessons and can promote good habits that can carry with someone for the rest of their life.

“Flying, like many things, is worth pursuing because of the discipline and focus needed to be effective. Even if it doesn’t lead to a career, it’s no less worthy than learning to paint or running, even though someone may never be a professional artist or win competitions,” Jason Brewster said.

Some might consider flying to be a very expensive hobby considering that the program she went to this summer was $1,000 and she is estimated to spend around $15,000 more until she gets her initial license. But all of the time, effort, and money pay off when Brewster gets to fly.

“Flying is definitely something I really like, especially small planes because you get out there and it feels like the wings are your wings, it’s really great. Especially flying out into the sunset, it’s a lot of fun,” she said.