Sunday, May 29, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
Amanda had a really hard day. During dressing change this morning she started bleeding really bad and they had a hard time stoping it. Her body has gotten to the point that if you touch her or even look at her wrong she starts bleeding and her blood is not coagulating. Her wounds today looked more infected then the last three days and the antibiotics don't seem to be doing much. Her kidneys have almost completely shut down, her liver is starting to fail and she looks like she was still in a lot of pain. The doctors believe she wouldn't make it another two weeks in time for the EpiCels much less the procedure and I have to agree after seeing her wounds. So, I made the hardest decision of my life today and put her on Comfort Care. They have taken her off most everything with the exception of the ventilator, sedation meds and pain meds. They placed her in a more comfortable position and are doing everything to make her as comfortable as possible.
I believe at this point this is what she would want me to do. I also believe if she did pull through at this point she would kill me for it, a month ago I would have said otherwise. This is a decision I never in my life would have thought I would have to make nor ever wanted too. But, I don't want her to go through another four weeks of hell when we know it will do no good. We do not have a time table on things, most likely a day or two. I will continue to keep you all updated.
Know that she is not alone her mom, brother and his wife, my mother, myself and all of you in spirit are here with her. I feel Amanda will be very happy to see her dad, my dad and of corse Jackson again. But the hardest thing is she's leaving us all behind, till another day.
Amanda my love, I love you with all my heart, soul and everything I am. Our life together here was supposed to be seventy years not seven, but I look forward to seeing you in my dreams every night my love.
Thank you all for your love, support and help through all this.
Goodnight and God bless,
Thursday, May 26, 2011
|The sky is not the limit necklace from Bob|
This past weekend I was supposed to attended a Women in Aviation event in Kingston, NY and speak about my history of flying and what it means to me. Through a chain of events I was unable to attend, here's what I had planned to say. If you are new to reading my blog it will give you a bit of a history on how I got here and who I am. If you've been reading for awhile, it's old news :)
When I started flying I did in pursue of a career, but now it has become much more meaningful to me. It is a lifestyle and a mission. I do it because I enjoy the sky and I love sharing it with others. It's no longer for the pursuit of a career and money, it's about the connections made and the lives touched along the way. Flying a plane gives the pilot a sense of freedom, confidence and empowerment; all things essential to becoming a successful female in society. Through aviation I have gained all these and believe I am a better person because of it.
I don’t believe I had a choice but to love airplanes as a child, it was either that or to attempt to block out all of the animated aviation talk around me. The most important men in my life are aviators. I’m glad the passion for flight is in my blood; it has brought me so many places, connected me with unforgettable people and has taught me life lessons that are simply irreplaceable. My mother’s side had some inspirational flyers and romantic ones at that! On Thanksgiving of 1949, my grandfather, Bill, took my grandmother on a memorable first date. He flew her over her farm and over a family member’s home in Canada in a Stinson. Bills brother, Jack was an Ace in the Pacific Theater of WWII. My grandpa flew Piper Cubs to and from work for a time and then worked under guidance and control for all of the Apollo missions. My father is a private pilot as well, and I grew up going to airshows and trying to remember all the names of the aircraft I saw. I still can't keep track of them!
I always wanted to fly, I took the controls for the first time when I just had my driver's permit. I would always brag to my friends that, "I can land a plane and someday I will be a pilot!" After school I had set out on a different career and after some life changes and deep thinking I rediscovered my lost dream for flight. I started studying for my written and soon signed up for flight lessons. I had a rough road at first with a flight instructor switch, health problems, financing and a school change but after two years I rejoiced and recieved my private pilot certificate. Just five months later I became instrument rated and headed straight towards my commercial certificate. Or so I thought. My flight school closed and when I started at a new one I ended up sitting on the sidelines for two years trying to get some sort of funding for this endeavor.
Finally my persistence prevailed and I received a grant that took me right up to being ready for my commercial checkride. That was until I suffered a retinal detachment and told I would be unable to receive my aviation medical. But I prevailed again and I did. By the time I was healed and ready I had moved to a new state for a job in aviation insurance which I really enjoy. I now have another grant and plan to complete my commercial within the coming months.
It takes a lot of dedication and determination to become a pilot. I know I was tempted to give up hundreds of times. But, I tell you to never give up because there is no replacement for the feeling of flight and what being involved in aviation provides.
Aviation has brought me places, Bob and I have traveled to several islands from Mackinac Island where no vehicles are around and you travel everywhere by horse and bike, to party town Key West, FL and Put in Bay in Ohio which has been dubbed the Key West of the North. It has taken us to Asateague Island where wild horses run the sandy beaches and most recently to Jekyll Island, a relaxing place in the Golden Isles of GA which used to be the playground for the wealthy and privileged such as the Rockefellers and Goodyear. We have entered a race, flew to airshows and done countless $100 hamburgers which is pilot speak for flying someplace to eat.
Aviation has brought me friends. I had recently moved to a new state and decided to throw and aviation event for women. I didn't know any pilots in the area, but through this event I met plenty of pilots who gave it their all to help out. I have thrown various charitable functions and other events in the past but never had I had the support like I did for this event. With these pilots, I helped introduce 185 women to aviation through free flights. One of those pilots who helped out is a balloon pilot and such a great friend that I got up before 5 am this morning to help him with an early morning balloon flight, these friends are keepers if I am getting up this early! Then their are girls like Katja, who I am very disappointed I did not get to meet today, individuals I have yet to meet but remain to inspire me through their passion for aviation. I hope people like Katja and my experiences inspire you to hop in the pilot's seat and start on a lifetime of adventures!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Water bladders away: Cluster balloon lifts off in Maryland
By Bob Knill
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
We had our first guest speaker come up, Juliette Cosh, a math teacher from one of the local high schools, and she told her story (she built her own plane!). We were able to find someone else to speak during your time.. an elderly lady and her daughter. The older woman, Gale, flew at our airport in the 50's and 60's! She had about 13,000 hours when she stopped. She instructed, she flew helicopters, she flew military planes, she did everything... and most of her flight time was done right at Kingston-Ulster Airport. It was quite an inspiration!
After the speakers, our CFI, Kevin, gave a talk about how to become a pilot and then Randi and I announced the winners of the raffle (to win an introductory lesson or scenic flight) and our winners were Gale's daughter and a junior high student from Rondout, Kayla.
I then stood up with all of my BOCES classmates and talked about the BOCES aviation program and what it entails (I wasn't AS nervous talking this time).
We let everyone then roam to see what we had to offer... literature, flight gear, simulators, food, airplanes, a helicopter, and of course the simulators! I met so many new people from the area.
It was so great and everyone was so supportive!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
With several powered parachutes, paragliders and ultrialights taking to the air off of the grass strip, the crews later returned to their usual balloons to inflate and prepare to depart. At a little after 6:00pm, the cluster balloon was the first to depart, with the remaining seven balloons shortly on his tail. It was a quite a sight and a stunning chase. I'll let the remaining pictures explain for themselves.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
I was happy someone else was shocked at reading an article in today's Aviation eBrief stating that the women pilot population is increasing, especially since I have recently hosted an event stating the exact opposite fact. I was happy to see that Mirielle, founder of the Women of Aviation Week movement knew best how to explain the difference in these numbers. Please take the time to read her message below.
It started yesterday when I got a Google News notification of an article titled "Gender bias giving way as more women take off as pilots". That got my interest. As I read, the article stated that the number of women pilots had increased by 18.6% in the last decade. Given the amount of time I have spent going over the statistics in the last 2 years, that number surprised me. This morning, as AVweb and AOPA brief pick up the story, I did some research.
There is an old adage that "numbers can say anything you want".
In the tables published by the FAA for 2010, I did take notice of the big jump in the total number of women pilots from 36,808 in 2009 and to 42,218 in 2010. When I noticed that most of the increase was driven by a 74% increase of women student pilots in one year (from 8,450 in 2009 to 14,767 in 2010), I got very excited. Since March 6 2010, together, we have introduced nearly 2400 girls and women to aviation (more than 25% of the U.S. female student pilots in 2009) and through multiple articles brought awareness to many more. Could we have been that effective?
However, as one of 5,580 women pilots holding an ATP certificate in 2010 (just 3.9% of all ATP certificates), I have been well trained to always read the small notes… The small notes clearly explain that the jump in number of student pilot certificates is due to the change in duration of the student pilot certificate from 24 months to 60 months.
While the participation of women is slowing increasing in the commercial flying arena – from 3.1% of the ATP pilot population in 2000 (4,411 out of 141,596) to 3.9% in 2010 (5,580 out of 142,198), from 4.76% of the Commercial pilot population in 2000 (5,807 out of 121,858) to 6.6% in 2010 (8,175 out of 123,705) – let’s not lose sight that in 1980, more than 30 years ago, the female population in the U.S. total 52,902 (6.4% of the pilot population). In 2009, before the numbers were skewed by the regulation change of the student pilot certificate, women pilots total 36,808 (6.2% of the pilot population).
Some claim that women will never constitute 50% of the aviation population for various reasons. May I point out that 100 years ago, similar claims were made when only 5% of car drivers were women. Today, a little over 50% of the people holding a driver’s license are women. Together, we can make the same transformation take place in aviation.
The numbers chosen and the time period chosen certainly depict a rosy picture of the state of participation of women in aviation but they are very misleading. The reality is that the percentage of women pilots went from 3% to 6.2% in 101 years or from 6.4% to 6.2% in the last 3 decades. There is much work to be done to change that.
Just as the illusion of safety in GA recently discussed in aviation media is believed to hurt the evolution of the pilot population, I believe that the illusion of significant progress in terms of participation of women could deter the much needed efforts to encourage more women to participate.
The publication of such misleading information may have occurred as a result of the failure to read the small notes (no evil). However, I ask you to make sure to minimize its negative effect on our hard work but publishing the truth in your blogs and press releases.
Founder and International Team Leader
Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week
Kingston-Ulster airport to host ‘Women in Aviation’ event
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
We stayed at the Hampton Inn which I highly recommend. They promptly picked us up from the airport in their van and are more than happy enough to shuttle you to and from anywhere on the island. The Hampton had a very nice pool area, complete with a bar, a fire pit, a large and deep hot tub and a kiddie pool.
We continued our bike ride through so more trails and ended up having lunch at Red Bug Pizza. It was very good and the weather was perfect to eat outside. With full stomachs we later biked over to the bay side of the island to check out the Wanderer memorial. After slavery was abolished, people were still trying to sneak them in and the owners of Jekyll Islands were participants in this crime. They the ship, the Wanderer in to the harbor, it had set sail from Africa with 487 slaves. Only 407 made it to the United States alive. It was very sad, but also quite interesting to read the history on placards around the exhibit consisted of lovely iron outlines of sails from a ship. The memorial is a just a hundred feet from the beach, which due to being on the bay side had fewer shells but a very freaky looking (well to me) tiny crab!
It was 2:30pm when we returned our rental bikes at the hotel and gave in to the fact that it was time to leave this gorgeous island behind and head for home. If you are looking for a scenic flight and relaxing, quiet beaches, then Jekyll Island is the place to go. If it's within an hour or so flight it will even make a good $100 hamburger if you are interested in renting a red bug. I will not forget it's beauty. Go check out more of the pictures!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
...and we're on our way to the shuttle launch!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
At good ol' KISM. Nice flight along the coast and over Disney!
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Woo! Can't wait."Endeavour's is scheduled to launch Monday, May 16 3 8:56 a.m. EDT on a 16-day mission to the International Space Station."
Monday, May 9, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
All in all, the BBQ was a great event, with great people, celebrating a great achievement. Great! Too see more photos from this great (did I say that already) time visit the photo gallery. Thanks to ThePilotReport for being my paparazzi for the day!
Visit here to see Len's post (way better than mine) on his experience. Be sure to watch the video and check back to his site often!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
"Renting airplanes is like renting sex: It's difficult to arrange on short notice on Saturday, the fun things always cost more, and someone's always looking at their watch."