Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorite Flying Moments of 2011

For some life lasts a short while, but the memories it holds last forever.~Laura Swensen

Last year I enjoyed looking at my favorite flying moments of 2010, so I thought I would keep the tradition going because 2011 really is a year to beat!

I still claimed I was tricked into becoming the 4th co-host of this aviation podcast, but I don't regret it.  I am really stepping out of my comfort zone, learning a lot, and getting to know some great people!
It felt great to be back!  New for this year, I was working!  Again, I met great people to include fellow podcasters, long time internet friends, and Ariel Tweto!

Just another trip to visit family at S37, but we found out that Quillson loves to fly and finally got to bring my cousins for their long awaited flight!

I highly recommend a beautiful flight and weekend stay on Ocracoke Island of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  On the way home pick up some aviation history where Wilber and Orville Wright completed the first successful flights in Kitty Hawk, NC!

October:  Blowing Rock, NC 
Wow, I must say that Grandfather Mountain is probably one of my favorite hikes I have ever done.  I get an adrenaline rush just thinking about it.  Blowing Rock is just a lovely area in itself.   Read more about this amazing trip!!!

After many days of crewing for Tailwinds Over Frederick, it was now our turn to fly!  We had what turned out to be a special flight for the hot air balloon, Tailwind, accomplishing the balloon's first splash n' dash!

Wow.  Just wow.  Many balloons, many colors, and a man strapped to a "chair" full of helium balloons.  Just an amazing event to be a part of!

I got to experience a little piece of history, a moment I will never forget.  If you read prior posts to this one, you'll see we went to Florida three times this year for shuttle launches.  One which was cancelled, one which happened but disappeared quickly into overcast clouds, and then the final launch, that of the shuttle Atlantis.

I held an event and it won Frederick the title of the most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the World!  What an amazing event, girls and women smiling after there first flight and the excitement of aviation filled the air!  This was a really "feel good" day and I look forward to doing so again in the New Year!

This was tiring, six days straight of 8+ hours at the airport training, but on the 7th day I became a commercial pilot! I recorded this journey each day, just use the Google search in my side bar typing "Day 6" or another day to read what happened day to day.

September: We got engaged!
Now there was a great flight.  I look forward to making more memorable flights with Bob in the new year as a married couple :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Home is where the airplane is....

Well, I haven't been writing lately because there hasn't been much flying for us.  We are in the process of buying a house so every last cent has been devoted to that.  The poor Glasair and Cessna are being neglected :(  We are really excited about the new home, it has everything we've wanted in a home...almost.  It's just missing that private air strip.  At least we are still a quick 10-15 minute drive to the airport!  Can't complain about that. But I would mind having any of the following homes...

120 Acres - 3,000' foot strip by a river.  A main home as well as a guest cabin?  I'll take it.  
Big South Fork Airport - you've seen the ads! Luxury homes, 5,500' runway with 4 instrument approaches!
Custom built - with a 1/2 acre lot and your own hangar in sunny FL!
Buzzard's Roost - I just like the name, no home on it yet but it has the possibility of a great airpark.
Snakes on a Plane? - Nope just Snake Creek Wilderness Airpark on a lovely mountain!
A Plane & A Boat! - This has it all an airpark on a lake, hangar and boat dock included!
Costa Rica - The only airpark in South America-looks like a year round vacation!

While these are all great, just remember home is where the heart is!  Did I get you browsing through some listings now, too? Share your favorite(s)!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I say this not to you from an airplane this year, but from a satellite truck!  I am so thankful for my wonderful family, friends and life (whether Christmas is spent in a satellite truck or not).  Please remember those who go without today, and fly safe!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Women Of Aviation Worldwide

 I thought I would share this, great things are happening for WOAW!



Well, it is the end of the year and what a year it was!

During the 2011 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, 707 girls and women discovered the joys of flying. Several thousands more learn about aviation's opportunities at additional events. Since then, VIP Club members introduced 912 more girls and women to bring our total to 1,619 for the year.

That may not seem like much. But, when you take into account that less 10,000 women worldwide decide to learn to fly annually, it is a number that we can all be proud of. So thank you for the great job. Every flight counts and we count every documented flight.

2011 saw a lot of controversy too. Someone looked at the freshly issued U.S. pilot statistics a bit too quickly. The result was a fury of articles claiming that the female pilot population had increased by 35% from 2009 to 2010. I wish that it was true but, it was not. A little note explained the discrepancy. Ah, those little notes!

The facts are as simple as reading FAA data, as is. In 1980, there were almost 53,000 women holding any pilot certificate (26,896 non-student certificates). In 2010, that number was 36,808 (27,451 non-student certificates) (data). 

When I looked for a planned celebration of women pilots on March 8, 2010, the 100th anniversary of the first female pilot license worldwide, I thought that it would be easy to find because March 8 is also International Women's Day. The fact that I couldn't find anything was truly alarming to me. Let's continue to celebrate all the Women Of Aviation - past, present, and future - at least one week each year. In doing so, we foster a sense of belonging to all Women Of Aviation including the next generation of Women of Aviation.

2012 THEME

The Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiative is international by nature. We celebrate worldwide accomplishments, as we know that, regardless of their country of birth, the Women Of Aviation had in common a struggle to access an activity that we all can cherish. In 2012, we will celebrate the centennials of the first female seaplane pilot, Hélène Dutrieu of Belgium, and the first woman to fly across the English Channel, Harriet Quimby of the USA.

We are planning a major celebration that will take place simultaneously in France and England on March 10, 2012. At least 100 girls and women will discover flying above the English Channel (check it out).

Part of the celebration includes offering a trip to Europe to one American non-pilot woman through a video contest so that she can fly in a small aircraft on the footsteps of Harriet Quimby.  Play Santa Claus; tell every non-pilot American woman you know about the video contest.  The deadline for entries is January 29, 2012.

I would love to receive reports of female flight introductions from at least 100 different U.S. airports on March 10, 2012 to salute Harriet Quimby's accomplishment. One flight is sufficient to qualify an airport so, if you fly in the U.S., please take at least one girl or one woman on a flight introduction on March 10, 2012! 

To salute 100 years of women seaplane pilots, I encourage all seaplane pilots to be particularly active in 2012. How about a record of female flight introductions in seaplanes?


Beside the English Channel event, many other events are planned. With an army of 377 pilots worldwide and many more joining the initiative, amazing things can happen. I love good surprises. Surprise me with your creativity.

At the Frederick Airport, MD, holder of the 2011 "Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide" title, Victoria is planning on keeping the title home. But I know that others have their eyes on the title for their home airport. Watch out Victoria.

We have already $8,000 worth of prizes to distribute thanks to our sponsors who have noticed that you are making a difference and want to personally say thank you. In 2012, there will be a substantial $500 prize for the "First-to-Solo Challenge", thanks to AOPA.

This year, we are offering girls and women who go on a flight an opportunity to brag about it to the world. Temporary tattoos that say, "I'm a girl. Today I flew a plane", are available (these can be free for VIP Club members).

Check out the website often for announcements or like us on Facebook to automatically get updates in your profile.

This holiday season, play, laugh, hug your family, and please pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Then, as you ring in the New Year, make a resolution to introduce at least one girl and one woman to flying during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week (March 5-11, 2012).

Talk to you next year.
Happy holidays!
Mireille Goyer
Intl Team Leader 

P.S. If you are planning an event or a special flight during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, Karlene Petitt wants to help get the word out. Email her at and tell her your story. She will feature your story on her Friday's Fabulous Flyer blog entry for the weeks leading to the 2012 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week. Thanks Karlene.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Most women are just not interested in aviation?!

I keep a tracker on my blog to see how readers happen to come by my site, this includes what they searched for.  I was shocked this morning when I saw the search for "most women are just not interested in aviation."
I beg to differ, I bet many more women than we expect are interested.  They just don't know how to get started or know if they are capable of becoming a pilot.  The truth is that resources to get women involved are few, but these women are VERY capable!

The goal of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is to fill that gap and to introduce women to the fact that "yes we can" during the week of March 5th-11th, 2012.  This is a worldwide event and YOU can help!  Visit the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week website for more details!

How am I getting involved?  I am once again hosting the Women Fly it Forward event at Frederick Municipal Airport.  The event is March 10th and I am calling all pilots, male and female to come help out.  Last year the airport won the honor of being called "The Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the World" after flying 185 women who have never been in small aircraft before.  Will Frederick win the title the second year running?

While it is fun to have a competition my ultimate goal is to inspire future women pilots and to give them the support they need to continue on their aviation journey.  To make this goal successful and the event successful I am in need of local sponsors as well as women professionals in the aviation industry to be on hand to speak to participants.  Volunteers to help out with the flights, tethered hot air balloon rides, and to set up and provide displays are also needed.  Many thanks to our committed sponsors so far, the Sugarloaf Ninety-Nines, Aviation Insurance Resources, and AOPA!

Feel free to contact me as well as visit the Frederick Women Fly it Forward website for more details.

Most women are just not interested in aviation?  Psha!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stuck Mic is on the 15th Episode?!!?

The year is flying.
Episode 15 already?
10 days until Christmas?
Breathe, Victoria, breathe...

Oh, you might as well check out Episode 15 of the Stuck Mic AvCast while you're here :o)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Flying Cousins

Visiting my uncle and his family this past weekend was very enjoyable, as usual.  All the fun must come to an end, though, because you always have to go home eventually!  Not before you take your cousins for a flight, though!  I had promised Sarah over a year ago that she could fly the plane so she hopped up front and was nervous/amazed.  Steven kept saying "this is so cool" in many different accents that he could imitate.  It was great to finally share this with them and I can't wait to do so again.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Flying Hedgehog

This weekend we celebrated my Uncle Tom's 60th birthday, we took the quick, half hour flight to Smoketown, PA (S37).  Tom's family was insistent we bring our pet hedgehog, Quillson, to visit again.   The last time we just assumed the flight was a traumatic experience for the little hedgehog, but upon taking him out of the box mid-flight, we discovered that he actually likes it.  He did not roll up into a protective ball, he did not huff to scare the airplane away.  In fact, he explored and enjoyed being out of the box and feeling the gentle vibrations of the plane.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finally Flyin'!

So it's been over a month since I've flown and boy have I been craving it, but boy was I rusty.  I was high on final when going to visit Bob's parent at KDYL.  Usually in a Cessna, a nice chop and drop would solve that problem, but we took the Glasair and it can speed up very fast and before you know it you are at the airport.  So I did a 360 on final to lose some altitude and lost a bit too much at first.  Landing could have been better, but I now remembered how important it is to have a stable approach in this plane.

I was in the mood for a "Christmas-y" weekend so we bought tickets to Longwood Gardens ($25 each) to see their Christmas display.  This would make a great aviation day trip and there is an airport even closer, N57 New Garden airport, just under a 10 minute drive away.  During the Christmas season, tickets are timed so make sure you allow yourself enough time to fly in, drive over, park and enter.  The gardens recommend you arrive up to an hour early, but we didn't find that necessary.  Our ticket time was for two, and we enjoyed a stroll around out doors. We then spent a few hours inside the conservatory checking out plants and joining in on Christmas carols being played on an organ with over 10,000 pipes!  Once the sun set we grabbed some gingerbread hot chocolate and enjoyed the beautiful lit trees along the gardens and watch the fountain display.  
After a nice weekend checking out the gardens and helping Bob's parents decorate their tree, it was time to get ours!  We were thankful there is no TSA at the airport, we walked right out to the plane with a bow saw that we borrowed from his father to cut the tree down!  I loved taxiing out to the runway-we had an audience!  Two families came out, one with two little boys and one with two young girls.  They all waved and jumped with excitement as we taxied by and departed.  We altered course just to the left of the runway on departure because there was a helicopter landing at Doylestown Hospital just on the approach end of the runway.  The rest from there was almost smooth sailing.  We had a 30 knot headwind and the ride was a tad bumpy.  The landing back and a very busy FDK, however, was smooth as butter :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stuck Mic Ep#14 & A Note From Toriafly

Hey all!  Sorry my blog has not been full of my weekly updates or fun flight PIREPs.  Something called "life" has taken over and while great things are happening, flying has been put on the back burner for a bit unfortunately.  However, we will not allow this to last long so thank you to my readers who keep checking back to see what is new.  I will have some content for you in the coming weeks.  For the time being, enjoy Episode #14 of the Stuck Mic AvCast!