Jessica De Melo, Leading Edge Aviation alumni, has reached a significant career milestone by becoming the first individual from the academy to reach the rank of Captain. Remarkably, this accomplishment comes just three years after her graduation, marking a rapid and impressive progression in her aviation career.

De Melo says she always knew she wanted to become a pilot from a young age. She grew up surrounded by aviation enthusiasts, with her father and grandfather both being Avionics Engineers, helping to fuel her passion for flying. As a result, prior to joining us at Leading Edge, she pursued multiple careers in aviation, including spending time as a Cabin Crew member for various major airlines. This solidified her keen interest in becoming a pilot and gave her the financial independence to self-fund her pilot training.

De Melo first joined Leading Edge Aviation as a Modular Student in August 2020 and last week, the academy had the pleasure of welcoming her back to our Oxford Campus, where her flight training journey started.

Although a lot has changed at Leading Edge since her departure, some things have stayed the same. De Melo was able to sit in one of the first aircraft that she had ever flown (pictured above) and catch up with a lot of the training team who had guided her throughout her flight training.

Since being promoted to Captain, De Melo feels as though she has taken on a lot more responsibility, however one of the biggest changes have been within herself. “I have become a lot more confident in myself and in my technical abilities,” she added.

Having gained Captain status in record time, De Melo is more than qualified to give her advice to others looking to follow in her footsteps. When asked what advice she would give to others she said:

Strive to take on leadership roles whenever possible.

Make sure that you know your aircraft inside and out.

Be a valuable member of every team you work in.

Be on top of all the legalities and compliance requirements.

Work hard and always be professional.

Always show determination.

Enjoy yourself!

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