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Young girl's dream to become a pilot moved her family from India to Canada

In just a short time 19-year-old Godly Mabel has accomplished a lot.

Not only did she obtain her private pilot's license, as well as commercial license with a night rating but recently she became a certified instructor.

She took the course at the High River Regional Airport through Kanata Aviation with instructor Gigi Shamba. Pilots fly sitting in the left seat of the aircraft while instructors sit on the right hand side.

Mabel said it was harder than she thought to fly the plane from the opposite seat.

"When I first started to fly my instructor Gigi asked me how many hours do you think would it take for you to land an aircraft properly sitting on the right," Mabel said. "I replied just a couple circuits and then I'll be good but it took me a solid 10 hours to actually land an aircraft properly sitting in the right seat."

Shamba's been teaching for 10 years and said typically it takes a pilot four months to complete the training. Mabel did it in 60 days. He said patience is a virtue for instructors who have to simplify things for students so they understand how to fly.

"She's passionate, she's patient, she's knowledgeable and she's willing to learn," he said. "She can only teach what she knows and the more she flies, the more she teaches, the more experience she gets and then she could use those tools to better solve problems or better explain theories to students."


Mabel remembers her first airplane ride at five years old with her mom on a trip to Maldives. She was able to visit the pilots in the cockpit during the flight.

"I fell in love as soon as I saw them because of their nice white bright uniform, their shining wings and all those little red and green switches on the cockpit," she said. "Yeah, that's where I told myself this is what I'm going to be in the future."

It's been an expensive venture pursuing her dream. She has 300 hours flying that cost more than $170,000. Now that she's an instructor she says she can earn some money to get more hours flying so she can one day sit in the captain's seat of a passenger jetliner. Right now she has enough hours to be a first officer with an airline and has applied to a few.

Her mom and dad said it's extremely expensive to try and obtain a pilot's license in India and knew they had to come to Canada for their daughter.

"It's a childhood dream," said her dad Aby Rabb. "So many kids have a dream and many of them will not achieve it so I am a proud dad that I could help her to achieve her dream."

Mabel's mom Rose Aby has flown twice with her daughter at 2,100 metres once in the day and another at night. She says she was nervous but not Mabel.

"Yeah, from the childhood she's so confident," she said. "Whatever she wants to do, she will do at the time and I think I can say she's a more confident child."

Mabel will continue flying as much as she can to build her hours so she can one day sit in the captain seat of a passenger jet and she's also taking online courses to get her degree in computer science. Top Stories

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