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Michelle Gooris (DutchPilotGirl)

Michelle Gooris is a Dutch pilot, entrepreneur, author, and a popular YouTuber.

She has 358K subscribers on her YouTube channel, ‘DutchPilotGirl.’


Michelle Gooris was born on 10 November 1991.

She hails from Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Michelle studied VWO (university preparatory education), Nature & Technology at Corlaer College, a higher secondary school in Nijkerk, Netherlands.

At 16, she was confused about her further studies after high school.

As Michelle didn’t have any specific interests, she attended medical school but as she found it boring, she dropped out of it.

During that time, her grandfather suggested that she study to become a pilot.

Even though Michelle never thought of becoming a pilot before, she decided to give it a chance because she had studied all the required subjects required for pilot training like maths, physics and science.

Aviation Academy

Initially, Michelle visited a few flight schools and listened to a few classes and got attracted towards becoming a pilot.

She visited many schools like AIS Flight Academy, European Pilot Selection & Training (EPST), CAE Aviation Academy Amsterdam, etc.

Based on her liking and discussions with others, she chose to study from the CAE Aviation Academy.

At 19, Michelle joined CAE Aviation Academy to receive flight training, an integrated program.


Even though Michelle’s parents supported her decision of receiving pilot training, her father was half-hearted with her decision, because in 2011, they were in a financial crisis, and she had to take a loan of €150,000 with an interest rate of 5.2%.

Also, at that time, her seniors at the academy were unemployed and the growth of Europe’s aviation industry wasn’t decent.

But as Michelle was passionate about becoming a pilot, she decided to take pilot training.


In 2011, after passing the selection process, Michelle started receiving pilot training in CAE Aviation Academy Amsterdam.

For the initial eight months, she received theoretical training at the ground school in Amsterdam and later, she was sent to Arizona, United States for further training and here, she stayed in Springs Mesa.

Here, Michelle met students of CAE Aviation Academy’s foreign locations.

Here, she finished her flight training and got a chance to fly many aircraft like Piper Archer LX, Diamond DA40 Diamond Star, Diamond DA42 Twin Star, etc.

Later, Michelle moved to Brussels, Belgium to receive her multi-engine training and here, she trained on Diamond DA42 Twin Star aircraft.

She found operating Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) in Brussels much easier than prop and mixture setting in Arizona.

Later, Michelle moved to Oxford, England for Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) and Jet Orientation Course (JOC), these were mostly online courses.

This concluded her two-year pilot training, and she graduated in 2013.


Michelle didn’t receive the job of a pilot after graduation.

But as she had to pay interest for her pilot loan and her bills, she started working in a lawyer’s office.

Michelle knew that airlines would ask her to attend interviews at the last minute, so she chose to work in the lawyer’s office because this job was flexible and allowed her to quit on a short notice.

Each month, she was paying around €700 to the bank and as the interest rate of her pilot loan was high, her loan wasn’t subduing.

At that time, Michelle had to also pay for her medical insurance and for keeping her licence current.

Working at a simulator company-

While working at the lawyer’s office, Michelle realised that this job wouldn’t help her secure a pilot job.

And realised that she needed to be in a job related to aviation as this would make her résumé more attractive to her potential airline employers.

So, Michelle started volunteering at a simulator company at Lelystad Airport.

Here, she started working as a flight instructor and she dealt with the Boeing 737-800 flight simulator.

As this was voluntary work, Michelle continued working at the lawyer’s office to pay her bills.

She used to fly in the simulator for many hours daily and this helped her to maintain her flying skills and also helped with instrument scanning.

Michelle learnt a great deal about flying the Boeing 737-800 and this later helped her in securing a pilot job.

Likewise, she did odd jobs for a couple of years and during this time, she lived with her parents at their home.

In these years, Michelle applied for jobs at many airlines but as their contracts were unsustainable, she didn’t join them.

Becoming a pilot-

In June 2016, Michelle secured the job as a First Officer in Ryanair.

Here, she signed a self-employment contract which meant she had to bear many expenses and as she didn’t feel her job to be satisfying, she quit in July 2017 after gaining 500 flight hours.

Then, in July 2017, Michelle joined AlbaStar as a First Officer and worked here until December 2019.

While working here she learnt flying Boeing 737-400 and Boeing 737-800 and also experienced a water salute.

Here, even though Michelle’s contract was great, she felt her roster to be tough.

Then, she joined a Dutch airline company.

‘DutchPilotGirl’ & her book-

On 22 June 2014, Michelle started her YouTube channel, ‘DutchPilotGirl.’

On 20 August 2014, she published her first video, ‘First solo flight PA-28 aircraft.’

As of December 2023, Michelle has 358K subscribers on her YouTube channel, 332K followers on Instagram, and 106K followers on her Facebook page.

Michelle earns from a variety of sources like advertisements, and ‘Super Thanks’ on YouTube, merchandise, sponsorships, affiliate marketing; she also accepts donations on Patreon.

She has a website, and published an eBook, ‘Become an airline pilot. Explained from Alpha to Zulu in a clear and comprehensible way.’

In December 2018, Michelle founded ‘36L,’ in Amsterdam. She offers ‘Your Pilot Academy,’ book, apps, etc. through 36L.

She along with her team has launched many apps like Preflight by DutchPilotGirl, Limitations-B737-NG and TR-737-800 Type Rating Quiz.

She uses a Bose A20 Aviation Headset and uses Canon EOS 750D Digital SLR camera, GoPro Hero5 camera and a DJI Mavic Pro drone to film her videos.

Michelle lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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