Young pilots are often advised to find mentors within the aviation industry to guide them through turbulent times. Very few pilots end up choosing their grandmother for this role, but very few pilots are six years old. Rhonda Behm, Jet Linx floater pilot, is a mentor to her granddaughter Lexi, a six-year-old aspiring aviator. For a recent career day, Lexi donned a pilot outfit with a cardboard cutout of a Jet Linx jet. She wants to be a pilot, just like her grandmother.
Lexi has enjoyed a taste of the aviator’s lifestyle, as she has traveled regularly with her family to her older sister’s cheerleading competitions in places like Indianapolis, Chicago, Omaha, Texas, and Disney World. “That kind of traveling has been fun for her and she knows that’s what I do on a daily basis. She has a taste for travel and for visiting new places,” Behm shared.
Lexi also enjoys calling her grandmother and asking, “Where are you today? Where are you going?” For Lexi, the adventure that comes along with being a pilot stands out.
At the time that she entered flight school, Behm was divorced with three children, but she persevered and chased her dream of becoming a pilot. After graduating, she found herself in her first aviation job as a Flight Instructor in Kansas City. Behm also worked as a crewmember on an air ambulance, and held other corporate and charter jobs before coming to Jet Linx. Throughout her career, she’s learned that flying is something you can only do if you really love it. “You really have to love this job. I don’t sugarcoat it for anyone,” she said. “It takes a lot of continual learning and training. I really enjoy it, and aviation has treated me well, but it’s not for everyone.”
One of Behm’s favorite accomplishments is that her granddaughter would like to follow in her footsteps. Although Lexi is only six, she seems determined to fly one day. “Most kids – when they say they want to be an astronaut at a young age – they will still want to be an astronaut for the rest of their lives, no matter what other profession they end up choosing. Those kinds of ambitions stick with you, whether you choose to pursue them or not.”
Lexi has a lot of time to decide her future, but she is lucky to have a supportive grandmother and an industry that will welcome her soaring ambitions with bright skies.