What’s New And What’s Next?
These past several weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for me and a true test of my “balancing” skills. First of all, my website, www.flygirlllc.com, has undergone a complete transformation. Because of this, I’ve had to keep all of the things seen and done, and the thoughts I’ve had in my head have been forced to stay trapped there! It’s been difficult to manage Now, I finally get to share some of my favorite moments and events of the past month.
These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things
1). Girls In Aviation Day. This is an event celebrated around the world. Organizations, such as Women in Aviation, host young ladies and girls at locations where we can show them and discuss the various aspects of aviation and how they can be involved. The girls seemed to enjoy the airplane “walk-around” with me as various parts of the airplane and preflight process were explained. They had dozens of questions about flying and airplanes that proved very inquisitive and insightful. Some girls were more interested than others, but I know more than a few young ladies walked away wanting to know more about becoming a pilot or pursuing a career through another avenue in aviation.
After the event, my airplane was parked at the FBO, as I was planning a departure for a weekend getaway. There was a curious girl, who had been at the earlier Girls in Aviation event, who was keeping a close eye on me. After realizing she was bursting at the seams to learn more, I invited her into my airplane and we discussed the various instruments and their functions. I could see her light up and her eagerness to learn more. We exchanged contact Information after spending several minutes together, promising to experience a flight together as soon as possible. That was definitely a highlight for me. The weather deteriorated that day and my weekend getaway had to be canceled. That was disappointing, but the time I spent with that little girl more than made up for it.
I’m a mother of three boys. My direct contact with young girls is limited to three nieces that I see occasionally throughout the year. Every opportunity and experience where I can share aviation and possibilities with a young female brings a different kind of satisfaction than I’ve been able to share with my boys. Most boys believe from an early age that they are capable of almost anything. Girls don’t always see their endless potential or possibilities. It’s great to be able to demonstrate and communicate that.
2) NBAA-Orlando. This is one of those amazing conventions with endless networking possibilities. I’ve preached it before and I’ll preach it again: the people in aviation are some of the highest caliber, quality acquaintances. There were numerous personal connections made via social media while there. It’s awesome to have a personal encounter and build a relationship with someone who lives on the other side of the country.
Some of the people there were already friends I’d met before at other events. Some of them were well-known to others who have been in the industry longer than I have. I met female corporate pilots, fighter pilots, flight attendants, student pilots, authors, business owners, industry influencers, government leaders, legendary military officers, aviation entrepreneurs, etc., etc. Do you know what they all had in common? The desire to help one another. Whether they offered new ideas on the future of aviation (flying cars?) or safety advice. We all feel like part of a team, each playing a role and being appreciated for our unique talents and perspectives. The head of NBAA, Ed Bolen, is interested in my training and flyGIRL’s mission. Erika Armstrong, a phenomenal author and professional pilot, is interested in helping me make connections with aviation employers. Erin Miller, a lobbyist for the WASP’s, welcomed me as her guest at lunch and probably taught me more than anyone with her casual mantra, “I do what I want.” Erin, that may one day wind up tattooed on my arm! I’ve been living by that phrase ever since! It sure does simplify things.
3) Commercial Training. During all of this activity and travel, my commercial rating training is still progressing. The winter weather is moving in and that means weather has become more of an issue. The preflight requires gloves, a scarf and a coat but the airplane heater means fighting to take the layers off mid-flight in the airplane. That’s very cumbersome and hard to do in a small cockpit. I’ve been working on soft-field landings, short-field landings, power-off 180’s, chandelles, stalls, lazy eights, emergency descents…I’m genuinely enjoying the maneuvers. It’s a nice change of pace since my instrument rating training. Flying is fun again! Woo hoo!
One of the valuable things about portable electronics is the ability to study almost anywhere. My iPad has become my sleeping buddy (as well as my snacking buddy, my sofa buddy, and my downtime buddy) as I prepare for the written exam. For me, studying doesn’t get serious until I actually SCHEDULE the exam. Once it’s scheduled, it’s “Game On.” After some procrastinating, the exam has been officially scheduled and it will be a relief when that can be checked off my list. After the completion of my commercial training, my goal is to move right into multi-engine training. That’s very exciting to me! I’ve been flying a single-engine for over two years. Learning to fly a new type of aircraft will be a fun, new challenge. I’ve heard of pilots that chase type-ratings and I can absolutely see why. It’s thrilling to learn to master a new and different type of aircraft. There are a number of airplanes I’d love to learn to fly. Who knows how far I’ll get? This girl is always dreaming! As much as studying is a pain-in-the-you-know-what, it’s worth every minute when you earn that license or certificate.
I’m just going to assume that studying will be a part of my life for the foreseeable future simply because there is so much that I want to learn. My children think I’m nuts or just a glutton for punishment. However, when you’re studying something you love, it’s extremely gratifying and worth every mind-boggling minute.