NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) — On her 17th birthday, Chloe Hains became a private pilot. The high school junior passed oral and written exams and a physical flight test.
“[The tech pilot] has her do different maneuvers, take-offs and landings, [and] a required profile she has to fly,” said her flight instructor Major Bruce Russell. “If she meets all the standards, she gets her certificate when she lands.”
Beginning her flight lessons in May 2020 on her 15th birthday, Chloe first flew in a plane by herself on her 16th birthday. Now, she’s passed her exams with flying colors and is certified to fly any private plane, anywhere.
“She has to have a 70 [percent] to pass [her written exam] and she got a 98 in typical Chloe fashion,” Russell said.
“It’s been two years and I felt prepared for [the test] today,” Chloe said. “I was nervous but I was confident I would be good.”
She’s a Cedar Crest High School junior with a 4.4 GPA flying in the Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force program that allows kids ages 12 to 21 to learn how to fly.
“We do things the military way, so that helped a lot,” Chloe said. “It’s very organized and I have a great instructor.”
Her goal is to become a pilot in the Air Force, after attending the Air Force Academy.
“She’s motivated,” Russell said of why Chloe is a successful pilot. “She takes everything seriously and she just has really good hand-eye coordination. She’s what we call a natural stick; it just comes easily to her.”
Russell says the tools to be a successful pilot are to make sound decisions under pressure and the ability to multi-task. Something she is able to do in the air, and on the ground, as she juggles school, a part-time job, and playing ice hockey on the boys’ team.
“They’ve always been supportive of my goals,” Chloe said of her parents’ influence. “When I was younger I said I want to play ice hockey, so they said alright you can try it out.”
“She’s always had the attitude of if he can do it she can do it,” said her father, Brian Haines. “If a boy can do it, I can do it. I don’t think she thought of it any different.”
“[She is] very much girl power, and I love that,” said her mother, Leanne. “I love that; it’s fierce. It’s a confidence that our girls this age need, for sure.”
The sky is certainly the limit for Chloe Hains, who now has her private pilot certificate before she has learned how to drive a car. She is in the process of applying to the Air Force Academy, has explored playing women’s ice hockey in college, and hopes to spend her career flying planes in service to our country.