This past couple of weeks have been filled with all kinds of aviation excitement! A couple of weeks ago, the International Women in Aviation conference was held in Long Beach, California. This is always a great event. If you haven’t been, try to go next year! It is never a disappointment. There is rarely enough time to see and do it all. They have great guest speakers lined up and a variety of break-out sessions on a variety of aviation topics.
Hero In The Cockpit
This year’s general session included an emotional speech given by Tammie Jo Shults. She did a wonderful job retelling the story of the horrific Southwest Airlines flight. Her hours and years of experience in the cockpit resulted in the return of the Boeing 737 she piloted on April 17, 2018. There was one casualty, unfortunately. There could have been many more without the expertise of Tammie Jo and her crew.
The conference also allows lots of new friendships in all shapes and sizes to develop. There were several flyGIRLS I had the good fortune of meeting and hanging out with while there. These ladies all have dreams and goals in aviation. It’s fascinating to me to hear all of the different visions each individual has. It doesn’t matter if we’re all aiming for the exact same thing, hopefully, we all genuinely just want to cheer for one another.
After reading an article in EAA Sport Aviation magazine, it occurred to me that there are many people who like to compare themselves with others or try to “one-up” each other with their own ratings or certifications. To me, it doesn’t matter. There are so many different avenues that one can take in aviation. We should simply absorb all of the options and let our path unfold. People ask me all the time what my goals are…where I’d like to end up. I don’t know. I’m enjoying the journey and just want to keep learning. There are many things still yet to learn and I’m confident my destination will become apparent in time.
Air Show Season…
Today has been a day of packing and preparation for me. Tomorrow, we are headed to Sun ’n Fun in Lakeland, Florida. I’ll be flying my little plane down there. I’m so excited about this cross-country trip. It’s been a while since my plane has been on a long adventure like this one. She’s topped off and ready to go!
This fly-in opens the air show season. I love it because it’s in Florida, my home state. It’s warm. There’s sunshine and all kinds of airplanes. What’s the saying “I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning…?” That’s basically how I’m feeling right now. I want to be surrounded by airplanes, talking to pilots, and learning more about aviation. Feed me!!
During the last few visits to Sun ’n Fun, my hotel has been less-than-mediocre. The prices are ridiculous and it’s cumbersome to get to and from the airfield. So, an RV rental on-site seemed just the solution. My RV reservation was booked and confirmed months ago (that’s how it must be for this popular fly-in). It will be set up and hooked up when we arrive on Tuesday. It sleeps five. There are several girls staying in the RV that week. It will be packed and disorganized and fun. I will have to be flexible and less anal about “everything in its place” this upcoming week! Some of the women I’ve never met and some I’ve known since beginning my own pilot journey nearly three years ago. It will be a hoot!
Today has been a flurry of activity as I prepare for the trip and my anticipation is building. There will be way more to see than I’ll be able but there will be no regrets as we return home in a week. My hope is that everyone appreciates the access we have in the U.S. to such great experiences in nearby cities all season long. Please try to make it to at least one air show this season and you will come home with unforgettable memories and maybe some new friends if you’ll simply reach out!