As far as she can remember, Sara Striker has been hooked on life in the skies.
“My dad flew ever since I was born, so I started to fly in the right seat since I was two,” she said.
Since then, the 14-year-old from Warman, Sask., went up with her dad on his floatplane whenever she could.
“She’s always had her hands on the controls and just mimicked my movements in the aircraft,” said Sara’s dad, Ron.
“She took an interest in flying more at a little later age.”
In March, Sara began her training at Millennium Aviation — starting with ground school.
On Aug. 30 — her 14th birthday — she finished her solo flight and got her permit; making her one of North America’s youngest pilots.
“It was my new year’s resolution,” Sara explained.
“Flying is my hobby and instead of getting trophies and medals, I get my student pilot permit, so that was pretty cool.”
The permit means Sara can fly solo under the supervision of a flight instructor, but she has to wait until she’s 16 to get her recreational licence.
She admits the experience was nerve-wracking.
“All I thought was just fly the plane because you’ve been doing it for the past three months and your entire life,” Sara said.
For her parents, it was a proud moment, but there was no denying the butterflies.
“I always said that Sara would be able to fly instinctively,” said Sara’s mom, Chris. “But as soon as those wheels came off the tarmac I was just a wreck.”
“I know she can fly, she’s been flying a floatplane with me for years, but to actually see it happen, yeah I was pretty nervous,” Ron admitted.
As for Sara, this is the beginning of what she hopes turns into a long career — maybe even inspiring others along the way.
“Go in with high hopes and determination,” she said.