2019 winners

Kimberly Metris

Biography

Dr. Kimberly Metris earned her private pilot certificate and tailwheel endorsement in 2014 and began flying aerobatics during graduate school. Her initial interest in aviation was sparked after college when she took small piston aircraft to remote field sites for research while living in South Africa and working in Zimbabwe. These perspectives from above the wildlife and wilderness inspired her to learn to fly. 

Kimberly holds a Ph.D. and has a background as an aerial survey biologist and former college professor. Kimberly has been flying since 2013, building tailwheel, off-airport, and aerobatics experience, and sat right-seat as the chief pilot’s biologist on bald eagle aerial surveys the last two years. Kimberly received her instrument rating recently and is also an instrument ground instructor. A memorable time during the check ride was the Designated Pilot Examiner commenting that he could tell she was a tailwheel pilot when she accepted her clearance and started to taxi the Cessna 172 to the runway. Some of her favorite aircraft to fly are the Cessna 120/140 and 170, Super Decathlon, Citabria, Stearman, and Just Aircraft SuperSTOL, and she also loves the challenge of shooting approaches in instrument meteorological conditions. Currently, Kimberly is working on her commercial and instructor certificates with the goal of running a flight school.

Kimberly met her husband, who happened to fly out of the same GA airport, during an aviation expo. They were married in 2018 at Hannah Rhea Airfield and she taxied a Cessna 195 to the ceremony. At their wedding, both Kimberly and her husband Jeremy enjoyed the opportunity to teach interested family and friends a bit about flying and their mutual passion for aviation.

Passionate about flying and education, Kimberly presents aviation seminars on a regular basis. Last month, she spoke to attendees at the Women In Aviation International annual conference on stress management in the multidimensional environment of aviation and flight training and to FAA Safety Team meeting participants at the Greenville Downtown Airport on funding and financing flight training to maintain proficiency.

Kimberly is honored to be recognized as a flyGIRL and to inspire youth in STEM fields, especially aviation!

 

Krista Morisen

Krista Morisen is the epitome of perseverance and determination.  Krista is the most recent recipient of the flyGIRL scholarship.  She is a private pilot who will use the scholarship funds to complete her instrument training. 

Krista grew up around aviation.  Famous manufacturers such as Grumman and Fairchild Republic were near her hometown on Long Island.  Her grandmother once dated Glenn Curtiss, who was an aviation industry pioneer.  Her grandfather and great-grandfather helped Leroy Grumman on several projects, ranging from the moon landing to the F-14.  Leroy’s contributions to the American aviation industry as an aeronautical engineer, test pilot and industrialist are endless. Both of Krista’s parents took flying lessons, oftentimes with her as a passenger.  However, neither of them were able to complete their training.  Krista became the pilot of their family. 

Krista’s personal aviation experience began at age thirteen.  She became involved with the Civil Air Patrol.  It was after joining this organization that she took the first flight that she remembers.  Her flights would take her out over the Atlantic Ocean and leave her feeling hungry for more adventures in the sky.  She would hitch a ride with just about any pilot that would let her tag along.  She remained involved with the Civil Air Patrol for several years.  During her time with the group, she earned many accolades and awards for her involvement and achievements. 

Krista’s official flight lessons began in 1987 at age sixteen.  She finally earned her private pilot’s license in 2016.  Yes, you read that correctly.  It took her over twenty-nine years to finally hold that certificate in her hand!  Her journey was filled with several setbacks, trials, and tribulations.  Many students would have given up.  She did not.  Her desire to fly has given her patience and kept her focused on her end goals.  Krista has bigger dreams still.  She hopes to one day become an instructor.  She would love to teach students to fly in vintage aircraft, hopefully living in the Caribbean or Hawaii. 

Over the course of her training journey, Krista also used her own flying passion to be involved with the Ninety-Nines and Women in Aviation, International.  She founded and manages the organization, LIFT (Ladies in Flight Training).  This is a popular Facebook page that reaches over 3,500 female student pilots.  She uses this non-profit entity to build relationships and provide support for other females in aviation. Through fundraising, she has been able to provide financial assistance to other students for them to complete their own training.  She hopes to continue building a LIFT scholarship program.  

Krista has a big heart and uses it to help others.  She is an asset to the aviation world!  I’m confident that she will reach her goals, whatever they are.  She will find a way to encourage others while forging ahead on her own path, or maybe I should say “airway.”