Jade Esler knows more than most about a sugar high.
The 16-year-old achieved her dream this week, becoming Australia’s youngest pilot, and she got there by baking and selling around 20,000 cupcakes.
The Canberra teenager passed the practical pilot’s license test this week on her 16th birthday – the youngest possible age – meaning she can now fly solo anywhere within 25 nautical miles of an aerodrome.
And it was all self-funded through her cupcake business.
“It was pretty awesome,” she said.
Jade is this week’s Kick Arse Woman Doing Kick Arse Things Of Kickarsery. Listen here:
The 16-year-old has, for the last three years, sold thousands of cupcakes through her business, The Sugar Bite.
It took a lot of salted caramel, fairy floss, and chocolate sundae cakes, but the passionate baker says her parents were on hand to help out.
“My parents work pretty hard….if I have lots of school work, they’ll get the baking done for me. I’ll come out and ice them and then go back to it.” she says.
The Canberra high school student says she’s always wanted to be a pilot. Growing up, her father had his private pilot’s license, and as a baby, Jade’s car seat was moved into the plane.
“I just remember going up, sitting in the back in my car seat, falling asleep and being totally happy” she says.
The passionate aviator says since then, she’s been obsessed with flying. But at such a young age, she had to work hard to prove she could do it.
“Some people are like ‘Wait….you’re a pilot? Your dads not out flying somewhere, is he? You’re actually flying the plane?’ Sometimes people don’t see me leave, and I’ll just bring the plane in, flying solo, and I’ll come down and land and hop out of the plane, and they’ll be looking around like ‘is there someone else in there’?