A 17-year-old girl has completed her Private Pilot’s Licence test after she soared through training in her ambition of becoming a commercial pilot.

Hetal Mistry, from Stanmore, has shocked pilots and tutors at the Flight Training London at Elstree Aerodrome, after extensively balancing her GCSE and A-level exams along with her flight training.

Just days before her 17th birthday, she had her private licence test on July 16 and impressed her examiner.

The long-term aspiration to become a commercial pilot is a rare one for a teenage girl, and in fact just two years ago the teenager would not have imagined herself trying to get into that field.

But after trying out a flight simulation with her family at the age of 15, she was recommended to try out flight school after her impressive performance for a first timer.

Even after the suggestion, there was a slight reluctance to try it out – but once she seated herself in the cockpit, it quickly became clear to her that her newfound hobby would be her dream career.


Hetal Mistry earlier last year

Hetal Mistry earlier last year

Talking about her achievement, she said: “Two years ago, I started on this journey, and I am pleased to have successfully achieved my Private Pilot’s Licence at the age of 17.

“It has been a pleasure to train at Flight Training London alongside some of the most enthusiastic and supportive instructors.

“I would like to thank Nadeem, my instructor, for all his time and effort in enabling me to succeed and my parents who have believed in me and given me the opportunity to pursue the career of my dreams.”


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Despite the teenager adamant that she will continue her studies – perhaps for actuarial science - in university, she aims to separately continue her path as a commercial pilot.

She said: “I would thoroughly encourage anyone who has an ambition to just go for it! Although there may be challenges along the way, you can achieve your goals with determination and perseverance.”

Miss Mistry spent most of her time since balancing her GCSE studies (and later A-Levels) and her training sessions for the Private Pilot’s Licence, and by the end of her GCSEs she aced all her exams with a grade 9 in all of her subjects.

In between her academic studies, she needed to read five books in practice for her nine theory exams and one practical exam.

It was just nearly a year ago (September 29, 2020) that Miss Mistry took her first solo flight without an instructor.


Hetal Mistry on her first flight without an instructor

Hetal Mistry on her first flight without an instructor


The future pilot said she was thankful her parents were accommodating to her adventurous personality, as she acknowledges most parents – especially from her ethnic background – would have been against the idea.

She said: “I don’t like doing the typical thing Indian parents say, about having to be a doctor – my parents have always said do what you want.”

In an online post congratulating Miss Mistry, the flight school said: “It’s not often we get to congratulate someone for passing their PPL Test at the age of 16 years, so this is a momentous occasion!

“Hetal did all her training in and around her schoolwork and has been a modal student. Although a little shy, her adventurous spirit kicked in when she did undertook an A380 simulator experience around three years ago and enjoyed it so much she started to look into whether it may be feasible for her to become a commercial pilot.

“We were lucky enough for her and her family to choose Flight Training London after looking around for schools. She did most of her training with Nadeem who is super proud of her achievements!”

Her father, Bharat Mistry, praised his daughter saying that there is “definitely a journey for her ahead” and that he looks forward to see her many other achievements to come.