Many adults often look back on their childhood dream of being a doctor, lawyer and singer and wonder why they ever thought that was a good idea.
Others would look back in regret that they did not get to fulfill those dreams they held so dearly for years.
From the time Jonathan Anthony Mohamed was eight, he would look up into the sky from his Ogle home every time an airplane went by and imagine the joy he would feel when he would finally become a pilot.
So, without ever thinking about what would be his back up plan if he were to fail, Jonathan, now 23, went through his primary and secondary education at Marian Academy with only one goal in mind.
After completing high school, Jonathan would take his first step to realizing his dream when he completed his work-study at Caribbean Aviation Maintenance Services, the sister company of Trans Guyana Airways, during the August holidays.
He then moved on to the Art Williams & Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School for two years, while simultaneously working with CAMS.
Asked why he chose to attend engineering school when his dream was to become a pilot, he explained that while he knew the advantages of being to both able fly and fix a plane, the real reason was that he did not have sufficient funds to attend flight school as it was and still remains very expensive.
Despite the setbacks to becoming a pilot, Jonathan soon gained an opportunity that would change his life for the better and see him becoming a Commercial Instrument rated pilot employed at Trans Guyana Airways as a Captain on the Cessna Grand Caravan.
‘Push through all the hurdles; try to be the best that you can be in what you do so that you can be who you were destined to be.’
During his second year at engineering school, he was made aware of an initiative Trans Guyana had at the time, which was aimed at counteracting the pilot shortage in Guyana by sponsoring two of their employees to Flight Safety International in Vero Beach, Florida. “That’s when I told myself this was my time to show them how much I wanted this unbelievable opportunity.”
Despite the long, three-staged process which attracted more than 50 applicants, Jonathan managed to win over the examiners with his adept motor skills and knowledge and two weeks later he and another student were on a flight to Miami where they would spend a year in strenuous training to gain their stripes.
“I cannot even explain the feeling I got when the wheels of the plane left the ground and I was flying. To know that you are defying the laws of physics is just incredible.
“The feeling one gets flying alone are unexplainable – the freedom, the adrenaline pumping through your veins knowing it’s just you in the aircraft.
“As a pilot, you become more disciplined, more thoughtful, and tolerant of others, more appreciative of life. In a word, you become more joyful.”
One of his near-and-dear pilot friend put it this way: “Flying is not about transportation; it’s about transformation.”
For Jonathan though, flying is more than just an adrenaline rush and a dream realized; it’s a much needed service, which he takes the utmost pride in as he knows how much people in far flung communities depend on him to transport much needed commodities. That’s the most exciting and fulfilling part of his job, knowing that he is helping other people often is all the reward he needs.
“To anyone who wants to be a pilot and lacks the drive to do it, all that I ask is that you look at me.
“I came from an average background where my parents weren’t rich and I still found a way to make my dreams possible and just as I did it, anyone can do it.
“Once you have a dream don’t let anyone or anything stop you from achieving it.