Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fly it Forward Featured in Airplanista!

Thank you to Dan from Airplanista for reaching out to me to help promote Fly it Forward!  He runs such a great blog and I am thrilled to have a guest blog on it.  Thank you to Dan for his enthusiasm for supporting this event and women in aviation!

Women Fly it Forward at KFDK on March 10th 

Editor's note: Everyone who reads this blog – and my former digital magazine by the same name – knows I have always been a big proponent of anyone who works towards a goal of interesting more girls and women in GA in hopes that they can increase the female pilot population. Rarely do I meet someone with the verve and motivation of Victoria Neuville, who presents a guest post below. I met Toria at the Podcaster's party at last year's AirVenture, and in that tiny moment, I could just tell she was one of us...a true “Airplanista”...the epitome of what it means to “fly it forward.”

Victoria Neuville
By Victoria Neuville,
for Airplanista Aviation Blog

Last year, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first female pilot earning her license. It was around this time that I learned that only 6% of the pilots in the world are women.  The number of women in aviation was never something I thought about much. I was so preoccupied in my flight training to care about the genders of the people around me.

Hearing this fact got me thinking that my journey may have been a lot easier with female pilot support. How many woman pilots did I come across in my training? How many of my girlfriends did I have study sessions with? How many women did I see at the airport that I could share flying stories with or go to for advice? The answer was three. Just three women. These three women I only saw in passing and was never able to share any flying experiences with. That number stuck with me.
In December of 2010, I heard of an initiative to introduce more women to aviation, it was called The Centennial of Women Pilots. I saw something amazing happen. Many girls and women were flocking to the airport to experience flight in GA aircraft. I saw pilots –  both male and female – taking women and girls for flights. I saw smiles and I heard stories of women who couldn’t wait to learn more. Like me, these women dreamed about aviation and since their first flight have not been able to stop thinking about it. The Centennial of Women Pilots movement eventually morphed into Women of Aviation Week celebrating the week the first licensed female flyer receiver her pilot certificate. Events called “Fly it Forward” were to be held during this week, and I had to be a part of it.
Dana Zajko on her first heli flight
I was relatively new to the Frederick, Maryland area when I organized our local Fly it Forward event last year, and I don’t think I've ever been so worried or so stressed about the possible outcome. I had lined up 26 airplane pilots, EAA ground crew to marshal them, arranged catering donations and exhibits, even a visit by an all-female Air Force Huey squadron. Some pilots flew hundreds of miles to take part, we even had a woman fly her R44 helicopter down from Pennsylvania to introduce other women to her favorite way to fly.

It turned out that I had nothing to fear. Women and girls flocked to the airport. At the end of the day, 185 had received free flights. The event won my home base of KFDK the “Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide” title for 2011. I know of two women who are actively pursuing their pilot certificates because of the event.

It’s 2012 and naturally I have to outdo myself. This year’s event on March 10th at Frederick Municipal Airport will have many pilots willing and eager to introduce women to aviation. We’ll have tethered hot air balloon rides donated by Tailwinds Over Frederick, and special guests such as Sarah Fraher from Flying Wild Alaska, wing walking airshow performer and Stearman pilot Jane Wicker, and female members from the United States Air Force. It is an event where girls and women who have never been in small aircraft before receive free plane rides, but the whole family is welcome for a day of fun at the airport- that includes the free balloon rides, too!
This year my ultimate goal is different. Yes, I want as many women to come out to the airport as possible, the worldwide title the second year in a row wouldn’t be bad either, but I want one ambitious lady to come away with more than just a free ride. I want at least one woman who attends this event to have the best chance possible at earning her private pilot certificate. So I decided there would be an essay contest and luckily I found a great sponsor, Aviation Insurance Resources, to support it and a local school, Frederick Flight Center, to give the winner a discounted rental rate. This flight award will have a value of over $3000. Let’s hope this brings one future aviatrix to her first solo.
One young girl who took a "fly it forward"
first flight was Victoria, right.
There is just over a month until the event and I am always welcoming more sponsors, ground volunteers, and pilots. This event wouldn’t be possible without all of their enthusiastic support. Enthusiasm is contagious, especially in a world today where it seems so much harder for GA and where the total pilot population, not just the women, seems to be dwindling. Someone once told me that he believed that women could be “GA’s secret weapon” and I believe we are. It can all start with one event that could start a chain reaction. So Fly it Forward with me during March 10th!

If you can’t make it to mine, find one in your area or start your own! Make sure that all women you know can say that during their flight training, they knew more than three women who were with them along the way.

For more about the Frederick event visit: www.WomenFlyItForward.com or email me at WomenFlyItForward@gmail.com. To learn more about the global Women of Aviation Week visit www.WomenOfAviationWeek.org.

A video explaining the Frederick Airport Fly it Forward event was produced by Len Costa of The Pilot Report and is available here.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

USAF Returns to Fly it Forward!

It has been confirmed-the Huey from the 1st Helicopter Squadron at the Andrews Air Force base will be flying in with female crew once again!  What great news and a awesome aircraft for participants to check out!  I wonder how many of our participants could be future USAF pilots?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Breaking News for Fly it Forward

With over a month to go, we already have over 100 ladies ready to take their first flight!  How many of these girls and women will be pilots someday?  In addition to this news today, we are welcoming back members of the 79th Medical Wing of the USAF once again!  One has flown over 75 combat missions, now that is a great role model! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Good Use For Old Sectional Charts

It's almost moving time and the plates are packed away! Glad we never got rid of that old pile of sectional charts!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Late night contemplation

Watching Ariel solo on Flying Wild Alaska made me remember my first solo and all my aviation plans I had for myself. None of those plans turned out, but I am better for it. I now am going where my heart takes me in aviation. :o)

We're FLYING Forward!!!

Yes, thank goodness it's Friday but man, this week has flown by!  I can't believe how far the Women Fly it Forward event has come in Frederick!  In just the past week, I have announced that Sarah Fraher from Flying Wild Alaska will be in attendance and that wingwalker, Jane Wicker, will be returning again this year!  We also debuted our promo video, which despite the cold, turned out to be quite a hit!

Today, we have almost 60 women signed up!  This is with over almost seven weeks to go!  One of these ladies is turning 85 years old that day and finally gets to cross flying in a small plane off of her bucket list!  The excitement is in the air, including the competition!  No, I am not talking about the competition about who is going to win the title of the "Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide," it the essay contest where two lucky girls will walk away with another chance for flight!

There will be two essay contests that the lady participants from the 2011 and 2012 event qualify for (yes ladies, I have all your names still!).  There is a "teen" contest, where one girl from the age of 14-19 will receive a free flight lesson and private pilot course ($450 value!).  Next, there is the flight training essay contest.  This is the contest that is closest to my heart and what I care the most about for this year's event.  This contest winner will I want to have the best chance possible at becoming a pilot, with a monetary award in hopes to get her prepared for her first solo.  

I am excited today to announce that the the flight training contest has now reached a value of $3,100!  This is thanks to the Frederick Flight Center contributing a free ground school course and providing a discount on rental aircraft, as well as a generous donation from our Elite Sponsor, Aviation Insurance Resources!  Please join me in thanking these two great companies for helping a future woman pilot to fly on forward to her private pilot certificate!

Quick!  Tell all your non-flying gal pals who have pondered the thought of flight, don't miss this great opportunity to live your dream!  Visit www.WomenFlyItForward.com for more information!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

'Flying Wild Alaska' pilot to join Fly It Forward event

'Flying Wild Alaska' pilot to join Fly It Forward event  

By Jill W. Tallman

Flying Wild Alaska’s Sarah Fraher will join the festivities at the 2012 Women Fly It Forward event to be held on March 10 at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md. The event is one of numerous activities that will take place at airports around the world during the week of March 5 through 11 in celebration of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.

Fraher, a Cessna 208 pilot for Era Alaska, was most recently featured in the Jan. 13 episode of the series that airs on the Discovery Channel. In that episode, Fraher was shown flying her first run in the 208. She talked about how she had worked her way up in the ranks at Era, starting as a secretary who dreamt of one day seeing her name on one of the notebooks assigned to company pilots.

“I love watching Sarah fly on Flying Wild Alaska, she is such a determined woman,” said Victoria Neuville, organizer of the Frederick event. “I am really excited to have her speak with and inspire future women pilots at our event.” 

Frederick’s 2012 Women Fly It Forward will feature flights in small aircraft to introduce as many women as possible to aviation. For more information on Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, see the website, where you can view worldwide events, register and announce an event at your airport, or get guidelines and ideas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wingwalker Returns to Women Fly it Forward!

A message from Jane Wicker

As I kick off my 2012 airshow season, my first stop will be “Women Fly it Forward 2012” in Frederick, MD.  I’m very excited about this event.  I was there last year and simply amazed at the turnout.  It was such a success that I was not surprised when Frederick was named the most female friendly airport.  This is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of Victoria Neuville.  She is responsible for this great event and at the helm once again.  I have no doubts that this year will be even bigger and better.  

I am looking forward to meeting everyone there and sharing my own passion.  It is one of my greatest pleasures to share this love of aviation and inspire others to become pilots, especially women.  We are every bit, if not more, capable then men to fly.  There is nothing else that can compare to soaring through the sky in a machine that is under your control.  I hope everyone will join us on March 10.  Stop by, say hello and feel free to check out Aurora up close.  It’s one of the few times that others can get a breath away as she’s typically behind the fence line at an airshow.  I will be there to answer any questions that come up about my flying, the airplane, and even the wing walking.  Let’s all make this a record breaking year and start changing the world, one female pilot at a time. 

Did you listen to Stuck Mic Episode #17?

If not, blame me!  I forgot to post that it was out, with all this excitement from Fly it Forward.  So check it out and listen as we discuss flying for fun vs. flying for hire!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ANNOUNCING: A Special Guest at Fly it Forward!

Moving to Alaska for college, this adventurous woman has hobbies such as ice climbing, hunting and my favorite, flying!  Sarah started to learn to fly in 2003 and has quickly worked her way up to flying a Cessna 207 out of Bethel for Era Alaska.  Sound familiar?  Yes, this is Sarah Fraher, who you can watch brave extreme flying conditions on the show "Flying Wild Alaska" on the Discovery Channel!  

Sarah has graciously offered to commute from Alaska to Frederick, MD to attend the Women Fly it Forward event.  She is overjoyed to introduce our future flyers to aviation and will be an inspirational addition to to what is destined to be a memorable event. We look forward to having her!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meet the woman behind the 2011 Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide

Meet the woman behind the 2011 Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide, Frederick, MD

January 16, 2012 in Latest News by Intl Team Leader

She loves to fly
When Victoria moved from Michigan to Maryland, in 2010, the town of Frederick did not hold a welcome parade; I even bet that few people took notice of this bubbly red hair newcomer. But someone important had just arrived. She was about to change the face of the Frederick Airport community for ever.

Victoria is natural-born achiever. I am not saying that everything falls on her laps; I am saying that when she set her mind up to conquer a goal, no obstacles are big enough to stop her. She wanted to be a commercial pilot. Despite repeated medical and financial challenges, today, she is a commercial pilot.

Frederick Airport was in for a surprise when she heard about the Women Of Aviation Worldwide Fly-It-Forward challenge. She did not want to just participate; she wanted her new home airport, Frederick, to win the “Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide” title.

Frederick Airport Community Trophy
She knew that previous title holders had introduced as many as 173 girls and women to flying in just one day and that the challenge was sizable. That did not stop her. She rallied 22 pilots and an army of volunteers from various aviation associations, enrolled her employer, Aviation Insurance Resources, as a sponsor, arranged for the military to fly in, and advertised the event.

But, would girls and women come to the airport in sufficient number to meet the challenge?
Ready for March 10, 2012

Did they ever? They were lining up long before the event began. When it was all over, 185 girls and women had discovered that not only flying is really fun and something that they could do but also that the aviation community is caring and welcoming.

“This was a wonderful event. I never realized how much fun it could be flying in a small plane. It’s so much different than flying on a commercial airline. It’s opened up a whole new world that I hadn’t considered before,” said Diane, one of the lucky first time flyers.

While she had planned to empower the girls and women of her community, she did not envision that she would empower herself. “I used to think that I had to get all my ratings and become a successful professional pilot before I could make a difference in aviation. I have recently learned, however, that I can make an impact regardless of my piloting title,” she said after the event.

An avid social media practitioner, a blog writer, and podcast participant, she is also a soon-to-be flight instructor and engaged to marry in 2012 to well… a pilot off course.
2012? Ready, set, go. On March 10, 2012, “girls” will be the majority at the Frederick Airport again.

Women Fly it Forward Promo Video!

Wait...there's more?!

Last week I was happy to announce how great our flight award was coming along, one lucky essay contest winner will win a monetary award to go towards flight training, free ground school, and 10% aircraft rental.  As if that is not great enough, I am pleased to announce another essay contest!  This one is for the teenaged gals, and this essay contest winner will win a free flight lesson and a Sporty's private pilot training course!  Thanks for the Sugarloaf chapter of the Ninety-Nines for bringing in this additional contest!  Visit the Women Fly it Forward website to find out how to qualify!  Reminder, we still need more sponsors, the more we get, the bigger these awards will be and the farther our future female pilots will go in their training!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yesterday's Promo Video

Yesterday, Len from The Pilot Report, stopped by FDK to film a promo video for Women Fly it Forward.  I can't wait to see how it turns out!  Thanks to Len for taking the time to come out in the freezing cold to help promote this worthwhile event!  I apologize for messing up so much, but my lips were frozen! 

Don't worry, readers, I will post it as soon as the video debuts.  You won't be able to escape it being promoted everywhere!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Frederick Women Fly it Forward Essay Contest Just Got Better

Like getting a monetary award towards flight training wasn't enough, Frederick Flight Center,  wants to ensure that one of our Women Fly it Forward participants gets the best chance at becoming an aviatrix!

Through the Frederick Women Fly it Forward essay contest, one lucky girl will receive:
  • A monetary flight award to be deposited in an account at Frederick Flight Center for flight lessons in a fixed wing aircraft.
    • (total amount to be determined.  Funds will come from local sponsors as well as donations on the day of the event.)
  • A FREE private pilot ground school course valued at $350!  Courtesy of the Frederick Flight Center.
  • 10% off aircraft rental during the award period!  Also thanks to Frederick Flight Center.
Thanks to this great school for their help in getting another woman pilot in the sky!
Want to apply?  Visit www.WomenFlyitForward.com.

But wait...there's more?

Yes!  To be announced soon, another essay contest for a free introductory lesson!  Check back often to find out more!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Got the jacket!

Now we're in business, my official Women of Aviation Week jacket came in! What are you up to this March?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review-The World at My Feet

About a month after earning my commercial rating this package came in the mail.  It was from a fellow pilot, Laura, and was signed copy of the book "The World at My Feet," the autobiography of Meryl Getline.  The tagline of the book is "The True (and Sometimes Hilarious) Adventures of a Lady Airline Captain; and what amazing adventures she has had!

For me, the book started a tad slow as Meryl spoke of how she first decided that she was going to become an airline pilot and of her travels at an early age.  I don't know if it was just slow for me, or pure jealousy :)  Her determination is astonishing.  During a time when women airline pilot was a thought to be laughed at she turned all the "no's" into eventual "yes's".  Her travels around the world, sheer guts, and great sense of humor turned this book into a great, and even inspiring read!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

$100 Hamburger & Museum: KMIV

The Glasair hadn't been run for about a month now and it reached 68 degrees today.  There was no excuse not to go out for at least a quick flight!  We consulted our flying "to do" list and the Millville Army Airfield stuck out for having not only an on-field restaurant, but a museum as well!

The Millville Army Airfield was built in 1941 and was the primary base for training pilots in the P47 Thunderbolt.  Over 1,500 pilots were trained here over a period of two years.  When WWII concluded the airfield temporarily became a home for war veterans. By the 70s had become a public use airport.

One very important thing to note when flying into this airfield is that it has a second CTAF (common traffic advisory frequency) separate from the UNICOM.  We just plopped in the frequency that was listed on the GPS and unfortunately it was wrong.  What we should have used was actually listed under FSS, a CTAF that is remotely controlled through New York.  Apparently KMIV is busy enough that it required flight service on the field, but the building had eventually become condemned and now is controlled through a location in New York. 

We discovered this the hard way.  While on final for runway 10 (what AirNav said was the calm wind runway), I noticed that there was a Cessna on final for runway 14!  We never heard him on the radio and had been making our own announcements.  The timing was so close that if we had both landed simultaneously we would have hit each other where the runways intersected.  We opted for a go around and then landed uneventfully on 14.  Upon questioning about this incident at the FBO we were told about the second frequency and that this was a common mistake.  They even had a Gulfstream come in today and not talk on either frequency! 

The first spot we hit after landing was Verna's Flight Line Restaurant and boy were we hungry!  The restaurant had a very diner feel to it and was quite bustling compared to other airport restaurants.  Service was great and so was the food!  They are open 7 days a week but only 9am-2pm.  There is a lot of fun pictures and memorabilia on the walls.  Check out my review of Verna's on Yelp!

Speaking of memorabilia, we hopped on over to the Millville Army Airfield Museum next.  It was full of great items from uniforms to airplane parts from when Millville was in the height of its P47 training days.  It was great to read about local WWII pilot stories and to gaze at the hundreds of aircraft models they had displayed.  The museum is run by very friendly volunteers and by your donations so be sure to drop them a buck or two on your way out.  Be sure to step outside of the museum and a bit behind it for a few outdoor displays, too!

We were very lucky to step out of the museum to see a P47 come in for landing!  This is only one of 16 operating in the entire world!  It turned out to be owned by a gentlemen who also has a Corsair and a Mustang.  His goal is to eventually get every WWII military aircraft from each country.  What a life goal!  Anyway, we had to stop by and see it, it was such a beautiful aircraft!  While eyeing the P47 we talked with some other pilots that were hanging around.  They had a Pitts, a very cool painted RV8, and a Texan.  

The flight there was slightly bumpy but you could not have asked for a more clear day!  We took the time later to fly around the area and take a quick aerial tour over Philadelphia before flying home in the still and dark sky.  Check out my photo gallery for more pictures from today!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Glasair Demo Flight

A few weeks ago my buddy Len, from the Pilot Report, stole my favorite flying partner to do a demo video on the Glasair.  Here it is!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How Could I Forget?

It must have been the hustle and bustle of the New Year, but I forgot to announce the 16th episode of the Stuck Mic AvCast!  Listen now to hear about eye health, fun picks of the week, and the Stuck Mic app!