Home / News / Soaring high – Burnley College alumni takes control as her career as a pilot takes off.

Soaring high – Burnley College alumni takes control as her career as a pilot takes off.

Ella Butterworth has always dreamed of being a pilot – and thanks to her passion and dedication it’s now coming true.

At Burnley College Sixth Form Centre we pride ourselves on building futures and changing lives. As the Tourism industry continues to rebuild itself in the wake of Covid 19, we want to ensure we can provide them with the workforce of the future – and Ella is a perfect example of this in action.

The 19-year-old from Ramsbottom achieved a D* on her Advanced Level Travel and Tourism at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre last year – and immediately got a role at Ryanair as Cabin Crew.

Now the former Rawtenstall Grammar School pupil is taking the next step and has started on a course which will see her become a fully qualified pilot.

Ella’s passion for the skies even took over her bedroom, with her installing a high-tech flight simulator and cockpit mock-up so she could take off and land around the entire world without ever leaving home.

She continued to pursue her dream with private flying lessons.

Now she has passed her medical and has been officially accepted into flight school in Cork – and is moving there in September.

Ella is hoping to be qualified soon:


“It depends on the weather how fast you can get through the course; I should be a First Officer in just over 2 years if all goes to plan.”

Ella Butterworth

Burnley College Alumni and Trainee Ryanair Pilot

Ella learning to fly

“I’m also doing the Ryanair Mentored Program which means that Ryanair support you from day one and if you pass the course, you are guaranteed a final interview assessment.

“Once I completed this stage, it’s then onto Ryanair for my type rating which establishes whether I can fly their aircraft and when that’s complete – I’m officially a Ryanair Pilot!”

Do you have passion like Ella’s? Do you want to travel the world in your career? Have you always dreamed of working in the world of aviation? A qualification in Travel and Tourism can open up the world to you. Find out more about our courses and enrol now at burnley.ac.uk