Fast 5: Verijet's 24-Year-Old Jet Pilot

Credit: Kevin Kintz

At age 24, Robynn Brown is the youngest female in the world to be type rated in the Cirrus Vision SF50, according to Cirrus. Brown is a pilot for VeriJet, which operates a fleet of the single-pilot business jets. Most of Brown's VeriJet flights are between the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. 

How did you get your start in the aviation industry? 

I don’t have family in aviation or any previous aviation background before my start. In fact, I was terrified of airplanes when I was younger! After going on a commercial flight as a child, I promised myself I would never fly again. When I was 18, I moved to Australia, and obviously, that is quite a long flight. It was on that flight that I spoke to two flight attendants, and that’s where the spark began. By the time I was 20, I knew I wanted to travel and pursuing aviation was how I could attain that, so I became a flight attendant. On the first day of flight attendant training, I saw pilots flying the multimillion-dollar simulator and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. At this point, I wasn’t aware that becoming a pilot was even attainable. I called my dad on that first day and told him that’s what I wanted to do, and after four months working as a flight attendant, I immediately started flight training full time.

Many people love to travel, and a career in aviation is a means to obtain that lifestyle. With that said, why do you think females account for less than 10% of the pilots, including professional pilots? 

I think it comes down to awareness. Like I said, I had no aviation background, and I just fell into it because I wanted to travel. You see certain jobs, like engineers or doctors, are professions that are widely talked about from a young age, including to women. I never heard anything about piloting or aviation when I was younger. Whenever I tell someone outside of aviation that I’m a pilot, they’re usually quite surprised, and I think that is simply because they don’t know much about it either. The fact of the matter is it is attainable, I just don’t think the general public has knowledge of what it takes to become a pilot. 

What do you think is the most effective way to spread that knowledge or awareness of the field?
I think going to job fairs at schools and universities. Especially in the case for more female pilots, advertising to young girls to let them know that this is attainable would make a massive difference. I wanted to be a pilot regardless of how many men or women were pilots, so I hope any negative stigma wouldn’t deter someone else from pursuing something they wanted to do.

How did your opportunity with VeriJet come about? What led to you becoming the youngest female to be type rated on the Cirrus Vision SF50?
I was instructing at a flight school in Napa, (California) and VeriJet came to showcase their planes for their West Coast launch. Fortunately, KAPC was one of the airports that they chose. Honestly, I just walked right over to the event pretending I was supposed to be there, and I was actually able to speak to the CEO and a few others who manage the company. Those conversations inevitably led to the fact that I was a pilot nearing ATP requirements. I remember the DO of the company saying that I’d work for them soon and it naturally just came about from there. Certainly, an unforgettable experience!

What are your future plans? What is your advice to other women?
The first thing that I’m working on is getting my bachelor’s in aviation science from Embry-Riddle. Once I complete my degree, that should allow me to apply to the Air Force Reserves, which is another dream of mine. As far as my advice to other women, I wish that when I was starting in aviation that I had some sort of mentor. I think joining Women in Aviation is a phenomenal first move, so you can get connected to someone who can mentor you. I went in very blindly. I had no idea what aviation was or what it entailed, so I think it’d be very beneficial for aspiring female pilots to discuss with the organization what this industry looks like and what steps to take.


This article was first published in April 5, 2022. 


1 Comment
A wise move to apply to the AF Reserve (don't forget the Army and Navy!). You can never have too many second careers and back-ups!