Julie Hafen

ATP EMB120, CRJ, B757/767

GOLD SEAL CFI, CFII, MEI

MOM 2 boys ages 2 and 4

Becoming a pilot was not something I dreamt about as a child because I didn't even know it was a possible career path until I was a senior in high school.  I didn't come from an aviation background, and I didn't know anything bout being a pilot.   Add to that the fact that I didn't have perfect vision, I was only 5'1" tall, and I was a girl, the limitations started piling up.  But even at my young age of 18, those limits did not hold me back.  I just figured if somebody else had done it, I could to it too.

 

My first time in an airplane was the month after I turned 18.  I had decided I wanted to be a pilot before I'd ever even been on an airplane (welcome to being 18 and thinking I knew everything.  haha).  began flight training the fall of 2003, graduated with my bachelor's degree in 2006, and then began working on my Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) license.    

I was terrified of becoming a CFI.  How was I going to learn all of that information?  Will I be smart enough?  Will I be able to handle the plane in an emergency?  What if my student asks me a question I don't know the answer to?  I had SO MANY doubts, but I did it anyway.  And before I knew it, I was teaching others students how to become pilots.  

I never knew how much I would enjoy teaching until I did it. Though it didn't pay much, it was such a rewarding way to build flight hours.  I met some incredible students, and I got to share their challenges and successes and learn a ton along the way.  I taught for 5 years and loved [nearly] every moment of it.  

I had my hesitations for becoming an airline pilot, but in 2012 I took the leap and got hired at a regional airline.  The first year was tough, but once I made it through that, I couldn't believe how lucky I was to find such an amazing career.  I was living a dream life.  

 

We had our first son in 2016, and when he was only 5 months old, I interviewed at a major us airline- THE ONE that I'd always dreamt of flying for.  I was offered the job, and 4 months after that I was flying for them.   

In 2018 we had our second son, and I was able to have 10 months of maternity leave to be home with my two boys.  What other career gives that much time??  Though it was such a blessing, some days I would have rather been in training doing engine failures and emergencies as opposed to cleaning up poop and puke. ;)

It's been an incredible journey, but my passion is also with helping and teaching others; my passion is sharing what I know with you so that you can live your dream life.  

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?

-Robert H. Schuller

Me and my Boeing 757 doing a charter flight- that's one of the few times you'll see this bird without a jet bridge.

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Our last family photo; taken when our little guy was just a few days old in 2018.

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My two favorite boys in the summer of 2019