Meet Friends of AWA flight scholarship recipient Kathryn Bremer

Twenty-one-year-old Kathryn Bremer moved to St. Petersburg from Key West, Florida, last year to pursue her dreams of becoming an airline pilot, learning to fly at Albert Whitted Airport’s flight school, St. Pete Air.

Kathryn attended Key West High School, situated across a field from Key West International Airport’s Runway 9. It was here that her fascination with aviation began. She would often park her car near the airport and watch airplanes take off and land, captivated by how beautiful and effortless it seemed. 

After high school, she attended Florida Keys Community College, believing that obtaining a college degree and getting a 9-5 job was the only way to get ahead in life. She had originally intended to earn a degree in psychology and work as a counselor or therapist but eventually felt the calling to do something else.

While taking a gap year, she relocated to a different city in the Keys: Marathon, Florida. Her apartment faced Marathon International Airport, a small uncontrolled airport with a single runway. After going on her first discovery flight there, she soon realized that her passion could be her career and that flying the airplanes she loved to watch was a real possibility. “I tried different career paths,” she said, “but aviation is the only thing that my heart is truly on fire for.” 

Kathryn Bremer

Kathryn’s proximity to small airports throughout her life played an instrumental role in igniting her passion for flight. 

She currently works at a brokerage selling auto insurance and dedicates weekends and any other chance she has to her flight training in a Piper PA-28 Cherokee at St. Pete Air. Kathryn’s scholarship has allowed her to continue to learn and add more hours to her logbook. Currently, Kathryn has about 17 hours of total flight time and hopes to earn her private pilot license, potentially work as a CFI at Albert Whitted Airport, and eventually become an airline pilot. 

“Getting the opportunity to learn the complexity of an aircraft, being absolutely fascinated with all the components, and instruments, and with every flight lesson, I get the chance to get closer and closer to going from an average 9-5 job to a career in the sky with a view that would never get old.”

Kathryn admits to being intimidated by entering a male-dominated profession. In 2022, the total number of women holding Airline Transport Pilot certificates was 8,206, just 5% of the total. This percentage is far lower than the percentage of women in other STEM careers, where women make up 44% of medical doctors, 33% of astronauts, 29% of scientists, and 21% of engineers. Kathryn said, “When I get on a plane, I peek my head in the cockpit and think, ‘That could be me,’” and she wants other young girls to know they can be pilots too. 

Kathryn has only recently begun her aviation journey and she eagerly awaits the day she can confidently announce to her passengers, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.”