Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Volunteer Pilots Needed

For those who regularly read my blog, you know it's never too early to get excited about Women Of Aviation Week.  The annual event I host at Frederick Municipal Airport will be here before you know it!  It's time I start finding my pilots!  Last year, due to overwhelming demand to help, I actually had to put many pilots on a waiting list!  So this year, I am reaching out to past pilots first, and then my dedicated blog readers!

I'm sure you remember the exhilaration of your first small aircraft flight and like me, were immediately hooked.   Know that it must have been as equally as exciting for the pilot that took you up on that first flight. Now, it I'd your time to return the favor and inspire future pilots through the gift of flight.

To date, only 6% of pilots are female, Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week celebrates the women of aviation past, present and future. From March 4-10, 2013, help me to celebrate the future of aviation through Women Fly it Forward at Frederick Municipal Airport.

Over 400 ladies have been introduced to the aerospace industry over the past two years through Women Fly it Forward events thanks to volunteer pilots.  Through theses efforts, Frederick earned the 'Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide' award in 2011 and 'The Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the US' and 'The Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide 1st Runner Up' awards in 2012.  In 2013 we will make this number grow, can Frederick take home an award for the third annual year?

Women Of Aviation Week is March 4-9, 2013.  Pilots are invited to fly participants on weekdays and Sunday at a time convenient to you.  We can provide participants and you provide the flight and report.  Saturday March 9th marks our third annual marathon event with a day full of flight volunteering as we celebrate 50 years of women in space and provide free flights to those affected by breast cancer.   Pilots and volunteers are welcomed to stay after the event for a thank you cookout sponsored by Aviation Insurance Resources.

Please complete a pilot form and email to: to volunteer.  We have only a limited amount of spaces for volunteers, so make sure to mark your calendar early!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Sky's the Limit in Illinois

 News from Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week!

Chicago is always known as the windy city. As windy as it may be, it didn’t stop women making many aviation firsts.  In 1911, Chicago hosted the first International Aviation Meet in the United States.  Just one year later, Katherine Stinson, became the fourth, as well as the youngest, woman to earn a pilot certificate.  In 1915, she became the first woman in the United States to perform a loop-the-loop.  She did all her training at Chicago's Cicero Field.

The ladies of Chicago's Leading Edge Chapter of Women in Aviation, International are following in the footsteps of Stinson and helping others become pilots, too!  During Women Of Aviation Week, the chapter will be hosting "Sky's the Limit!" aviation camp for girls. 

The camp will consist of six sessions, each running around 30 minutes.  Girls in groups named after female pioneers in aviation will have their chance to enjoy each session and learn all about aviation.  Lunch as well as a prize raffle is included in this free event.

Join the ladies of Chicago make their own history on March 9th at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.  What "firsts" will "Sky's the Limit!" spark?  Will campers be performing loop the loops like Stinson in the years to come?

Friday, November 23, 2012

REIL Remarks #7

A new weekly segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"Runway undulates." 9Z9, Alaska

Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

No flying for us this year, it's our first holiday as a married couple and we are hosting it in our own home!  Look at us all grown up.  I am still so thankful for the gift of flight and the love of those around me.  Please remember the lonely and those who go without food and shelter today.   Fly safe, turkey lovers!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pay it forward when you "Fly it Forward"

With so many different pilot organizations out there, it could be very easy to get competitive with one another. So far, all I have seen is support for Women Of Aviation Week's mission.  Many thanks go to Lynda Meeks of Girls With Wings for recently promoting WOAW in her blog.  It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together!


Pay it forward when you "Fly it Forward"

Remember Benjamin Franklin? He of the Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?

Much of what is attributed to him are quick witticisms, which may or may not be a result of his messing with keys, lightning and kites. But he also promoted some deep philosophies and is credited with the first use of the "Pay it forward" idea:

I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

Sure, if you borrow money you should pay it back. And when it's paid back two people are satisfied at the very least. But if someone was to make someone feel better by giving him/her a loan, but then THAT person made someone else feel better by passing on that loan, the happiness factor increased 33%. That's a nice return on investment.

[Math whizzes and statisticians need not comment.]

According to WikiAnswers, "In the modern vernacular the phrase has been adopted to mean, "don't worry about it, just go on and be a good influence with your life, or whatever." But the source of this phrase has a foundation that was popularized as part of the new millennium." Pay it Forward is well known as the title of a movie released in 2000 about a boy given a school assignment that requires him to find some way to change the world.

As a philosophy, Wisegeek says, "Paying it forward is a third-party beneficiary concept that involves doing something good for someone in response to a good deed done on your behalf or a gift you received. However, when you pay it forward, you don't repay the person who did something nice for you. Instead, you do something nice for someone else." And by doing so, at least for that one person, changed his or her world.

But what about Miss Janet (Jackson), she of the "What have you done for me lately?" Jonathon Lockwood Huie pens on his blog:

We have reason to have infinite gratitude to the Universe for everything we have and everything we are, yet we cannot repay the Universe. We have gratitude for our distant ancestors, yet cannot repay them. We have gratitude to our parents for our very life, and to our parents or other caregivers for our nurture, yet we cannot repay them in kind. We may have many other gratitudes that, for one reason or another, cannot be repaid to those who were so generous to us.

I know of an opportunity for you to do "a deal of good." By not paying it forward (though heaven knows nonprofits like GWW need all the coin it can get) but by thanking those who have contributed to all that we aviation enthusiasts enjoy by FLYING it Forward. That's right. There is an event that is its third year called "Fly it Forward," a key contributor in the annual Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, which, since its inception in March 2010, has enabled "more than 5,000 girls and women to discover the joys of flight in small aircraft in 36 countries and on 4 continents."

The initiative has doubled in size each year since 2010.

Doubled. In. Size. In two years! So, this, their third year, could potentially see 10,000 girls and women in 72 countries on 8 continents... ok, so there are only 7 continents, but there are 196 countries (or 195, depending on your reference).

This will not happen unless more volunteers participate in the effort, though. So here is your chance to Fly it Forward. Victoria Zajko, team leader for U.S. events, said her goal is to have at least one event in each of the 50 states. She sent me the following message to send on to you, dear reader, who believes, deep down, that you believe in giving back to the aviation community, nay, the universe, and the importance of focusing attention on the lack of female involvement in the air and space industry.

I wish to personally invite you to partake in the 2013 week. As the US Team Leader I am here to help promote and support you every step of the way.  We've made it much easier on the event organizers this year with the event organizer handbook.  You can request one here.  The event organizer handbook is full of great ideas as well as guidelines to create an inspirational flying event.  I hope that you will consider joining us for WOAW 2013!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Together, I hope we can introduce many new girls and women to an industry I know we are both very passionate about!

It is wonderful to know that there are nonprofits that can work together towards their goals, and WOAW and GWW agree that our missions are synergistic - that by working together we can increase the effectiveness of our organizations. In fact, last year, Girls With Wings had a presence at the Fly it Forward event in Frederick, MD, with GWW Board Member Keith Jones and family running the booth. Victoria is in the white jacket and on the right were both Jane Law Wicker, a Wing Walker, and Sarah Fraher, of Flying Wild Alaska on the Discovery Channel.

So you can either organize an event in your area with the following guidance offered:

The format of events is entirely up to the organizer and not supervised by iWOAW. However, whether or not they include discovery flights, events organized within the spirit of the celebration of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week must include the following key elements:
  • Women-centric attractions and activities designed to not only make girls and women feel welcomed but also uniquely valued and special.
  • Female public as a majority.
  • Original and media worthy elements.
  • Events that include discovery flights must make safety the number one priority.
  • Event reports must be received by March 17, 2013, midnight, to qualify the participants to titles and prizes.
Outside of these basic guidelines, let your imagination soar, knowing that prizes are offered in this *friendly* competition: most female friendly airport, most girls/women flown, so on.

Or you can participate in an existing event by A. using your airplane, helicopter, etc.,  to take these girls and women to new heights! and/or B. letting attendees know about Girls With Wings, so we can encourage the young girls to continue their interest in aviation, like Christa and Pamela have done (Christa's son was a bonus!). It's not hard - I'll send you brochures and other helpful materials and you can assist in encouraging these girls to grow up and GROW the percentage of women in aviation. The important thing is that you do SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to Fly it Forward. These things do not happen, are not successful, unless people like you participate.

Interested volunteers can also be sent a limited supply of Girls With Wings Pilot Shop merchandise so that attendees of the event can purchase a momento of their experience and help to raise funds for Girls With Wings.

Now. Please email me if you'd like to help promote Girls With Wings AND get in touch with Victoria to let her know how you will contribute to this worthy cause. March 4-10, 2013. Mark your calendar.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ooo SMAC036 is out!

This show's discussions involved some information and chatter about formation flying and each co-host’s experience with this flying pleasure. We also shared a story of nearly one of the coolest $100 hamburger flights known to man and then wrapped it up with a segment on obstacle departure procedures explained, as requested by one of our listeners. Do to innumerable scheduling issues thanks to Hurricane Sandy, Rick was not able to join us for this episode but does send his best regards. Listen now!

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2013 to focus on aerospace

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2013 to focus on aerospace 

By Jill W. Tallman

March 4 through 10, 2013, are the dates of the upcoming Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, and organizers say the 2013 event will focus on opportunities for women in the aerospace industry. The theme ties in with the fiftieth anniversary of the first space flight by a woman, conducted by Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on June 16, 1963.

Free flights for women and girls, static displays at airports, and special guests are planned at numerous locations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

“No country harbors as many female astronauts as the United States does,” the nonprofit Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide said on its website. “The goal is to welcome a female astronaut at each major U.S. event because … most astronauts are first, pilots. What could be a more exciting inspiration for a young woman to earn a pilot license?”

Victoria Neuville, team leader for U.S. events, said her goal is to have at least one event—called Fly It Forward—in each of the 50 states. 

Neuville organized Fly It Forward events at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md.—AOPA’s home airport—in 2011 and 2012. Frederick Municipal earned the title of Most Female-Friendly Airport in 2011, when 185 girls and women took rides in general aviation aircraft.
She’ll also helm the 2013 Fly It Forward at Frederick Municipal, and said it will be a weeklong event rather than one day.

Fourteen states thus far have scheduled Fly It Forward events for 2013. Once again, there will be worldwide competitions for airports that introduce the greatest number of women and girls to aviation. The flight school that introduces the greatest number of women during that week will be named “most female-pilot-friendly training center worldwide,” and a prize also be awarded to the “most supportive male pilot worldwide”—the one who takes the greatest number of girls and women flying during that week.
Neuville urged interested pilots or aviation groups that would like to sponsor an event to register at the website.

If each event introduces just 100 girls and women to aviation, and just 2 percent of those women are motivated to become private pilots, Neuville explained, that could equate to a 10-percent increase in the annual number of new women private pilots.

New to the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is the You Are An Inventor contest, open to girls aged 13 to 19. The contest invites participants to design a new padding system or new type of adjustable space suit that improves freedom of movement for tomorrow’s space explorers. The top prize will be a one-hour conversation with a group of astronauts from several countries via Web conferencing. Entries may be submitted beginning Jan. 7, 2013; the deadline is Feb. 8, 2013. See additional information and eligibility requirements on the website.

Friday, November 16, 2012

REIL Remarks #6

A new weekly segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"Windsock pole bent but working" MYU, Alaska

Oh, thank God! I was worried for a moment there.


AKA: Never have a "mishap" here.

Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Growing GA - Wings for Pilots

A message from David J Fill II of Wings for Pilots

I began to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a pilot when I started my flight training in July 2004.  Little did I know that it would be the start of a 6 year battle to find the time and money to complete my training.  I would come up with enough money to take 3 or 4 lessons and then have to take several months off, by the time I had saved enough money to again start flight training I had forgotten some of the maneuvers or needed to repeat lessons prior to moving on in the syllabus.  The added training further increased the cost of obtaining my goals.  

I finally earned my private pilot certificate in January 2010 and quickly progressed through the instrument rating and single/multi-engine commercial certificates and purchased my first aircraft.  All of this was only possible due to a change in my financial situation.  Otherwise I might still out there flying a few lessons when possible working on my primary training.   

While flying around the eastern half of the United States for business in my aircraft I took the chance to talk to students, flight instructors, and FBO staff whenever possible.  It quickly became apparent that the initial cost of primary flight training is the biggest barrier to becoming a pilot for most students.  Whether 16 years old or 60 a common sentiment was that it would be no problem to rent an aircraft for business or pleasure a couple times a month and maintain currency and proficiency once they earned their certificate - the big problem is getting that certificate.

The big aviation organizations have been talking about ways to grow the pilot population for years but there hasn’t yet been a viable solution.  Most aviators would agree that there is no shortage of interest in aviation, airshows, or flight training – so there are plenty of would-be students out there.  General Aviation is also a very social community with generally successful participants.  Wings ForPilots was created to harness the power of social media and the power of the aviation community to tackle the problem of the large upfront cost of entering the world of General Aviation.

Typically aviation scholarships range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.  Although any scholarship is a huge help to the student in many cases it’s not enough to get him or her across the finish line.  Wings For Pilots has a different model – using specific criteria to select students, flight schools and instructors we do everything possible to ensure an efficient and successful training program and get the best results for the money.  Unlike traditional scholarships we will pay for all training costs from the first lesson through the checkride to ensure money never comes between the student and his or her aviation dreams.

100% of the scholarship funding comes through donations.  Think about the possibilities if every one of the 400,000 members or AOPA donated just $5 a year – that’s over $2 Million in funding for flight training or enough to train approximately 200 additional pilots each year.  We are seeking donations from individuals, organizations and businesses that may be involved in aviation or simply want to help someone accomplish their dreams.  Every donation helps and many of our contributions are between $5 and $50.  We are looking for corporate sponsors and hope to eventually attract the attention of one of the large aviation organizations to further expand the program.

Remember how you felt the first time you soloed an aircraft, or the first time you went for a flight with the ink still wet on your temporary certificate?  We want as many people as possible to enjoy this experience.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Be the Change in Aviation

Be the Change in Aviation

The world we live in is constantly changing, constantly growing just as   individuals change and grow with it.  I have changed, better than that, I have grown so much over the years due mostly to what I have learned about a small group of women.  These are women pilots, making up only 6% of the total pilot population. 

On a windy day in March of 2011, I found myself caught amidst a flurry of girls and women who had just experienced their first flight in a small aircraft.  I cannot recall a day with more smiles and a day that I felt so genuinely happy for those around me.  It was then that I set aside all my qualms about my ability to make an impact on the aviation community, because in that moment, I already had.

An often over quoted but underused proclamation by Mahatma Gandhi is, "Be the change you want to see in this world." 

I have heard it quoted to support the fact that one person can make a difference and it is up to you to put that change in motion.  It is often believed that you need to be a super hero to make a change in this world.  Many think that an average person is not capable of creating change and that one small event will not make a difference.  I have seen that change.  I have been that change.  I experienced what Gandhi meant.

When I moved to Frederick in 2010, I had no connections to the community around me other than my boyfriend and coworkers.   However, that quickly changed in the days leading up to my first "Fly it Forward" event. 

I was overwhelmed by the response and support from the women and men in the community for this crazy vision I had in my head. 

In 2011, the event in Frederick won the title of “Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide” after introducing 185 women to aviation.  Our event in 2012 brought more awards and increased that number by almost 60 women.  It was such a popular day in our community that registration had to close two weeks early due to overwhelming demand.

Following each event, I received touching feedback from women and girls from all walks of life.  Individuals that were once scared to fly now felt empowered.  Women who had considered becoming a pilot, now knew how that could become a reality.  I had touched hundreds of women's lives and had in turn felt a major impact in my own.  I had found what was truly important to me in aviation - sharing it with others.  

I had previously thought that I had to become an accomplished pilot to make a difference in this industry. Organizing these events taught me that all it took was a simple invitation: "Come out to the airport, we'll show you what it feels like to fly!"

Those close to me know that I am not quick to accept a compliment or boast about my past successes.  Dan Pinmentel, publisher and editor of the Airplanista blog, recently described me as "a petite lethal weapon in general aviation's survival."  

At first I blushed.  But do you know what?  I am.  Or at least I believe that I have the potential to be, but not without your help.  

This is why I accepted the position of the United States Team Leader for Women Of Aviation Week and why I set the goal of having one event in each of the 50 states during an inspirational week for all girls and women around the world.

The evidence is in the numbers. We hold the power to grow the female pilot population.

If each state is responsible for introducing just 100 girls and/or women to aviation, and if our enthusiasm motivates just 2% of them to become pilots, we can increase the current female pilot population by 10%! 

We already have events planned in 14 states; there are just 36 states to go. 

Will you step up to make a change? 
Will you be the next "lethal weapon" general aviation needs? 
Will you take away the title of Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide?

Choose to make a difference within our own community and your own local airport. Join me for Women of Aviation Week 2013!

Victoria Neuville Zajko
United States Team Leader

Sunday, November 11, 2012

$100 Hamburger - Fiorentino's Bar & Grill

Pizza by plane!
Today was the perfect fall day.  It was 70 degrees, the wind was calm and the sky was pure blue and cloudless.  We had been doing housework all weekend, including raking up a massive amount of leaves.  I was in a ton of pain and just ready to escape into the sky!  So, we decided to take the short 68NM trip to Lancaster Airport (KLNS) for lunch.

Everyone was out at the airport.  We ran into a friend with a Glasair III while taxiing and chatted with him a bit before heading to the runway.  Oops, I must clarify, we did not run into him in a literal sense!  At the runup area, a Cessna was ahead of us and a Diamond behind us as we prepared to depart.  For the first ten minutes of the flight our traffic advisory kept giving us warnings and our eyes were sharp as we crossed above and below many other pilots enjoying their day.

Lancaster was equally busy.  This wasn't my first time in the airport, but the first that I have had the chance to eat there.  Judging by the ramp, many other pilots had the same idea.  We sat by the window of Fiorentino's Bar and Grill and enjoyed watching many aircraft (including a surprising amount of LSA's) come and go.

Waving to Tailwinds!
The food was great and filling.  Especially, the warm apple cider.  I'll have to go back when we're not flying because they had some cider mixed drinks that sounded amazing, as well as some of their martinis!

We were number two for take off out of Lancaster.  A Cessna was ahead of us and a Cirrus behind.  Two aircraft landed on the crosswind runway before were cleared to depart.  The flight home was a bit torturous at first, the sun was right in our eyes most of the way.  

Our timing couldn't be better back at Frederick because our favorite balloon, Tailwinds, was just departing on its afternoon flight.  We stayed above the Class D airspace and circled the balloon and took some photos before coming in to land. 

We couldn't ask for a better day to fly, I hope next weekend brings us at least one more perfect fall flight!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

AIR is a founding member of the iWOAW!

I am so excited and blessed that I work for a great company who supports not only me as a person and the causes that I volunteer for, but all female pilots.

Aviation Insurance Resources (AIR) is proud to announce that we are a founding member of the new not-for-profit, the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide. But not only that, AIR’s very own Victoria Neuville Zajko is on the board of directors.

About the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide

Incorporated in September of this year, the Institute for Women in Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) is a not-for-profit association seeking to foster diversity and thus growth in the air and space industry. iWOAW accomplishes this through with research and creative, innovative, and rewarding education programs aimed at facilitating the integration of women in what has been a historically male dominated industry.

“While the air and space industry is a technological leader, it has fallen behind most other industries when it comes to social advancements. It is iWOAW’s mission to lead the industry to not only catch up but also surpass other industries in that sector,” said Mireille Goyer, Founder of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide.

Today, in an era where the percentage of female doctors, lawyers, and police officers is on the rise, around 25%, the percentage of female pilots remains relatively low, around 6%. iWOAW is leading the shift to a more diverse air and space industry where men and women will thrive in harmony and parity!
Interested in joining iWOAW? Membership is available to businesses, associations, and foundations interested in furthering the Institute for Women of Aviation’s purposes.
If you have any questions, please contact Aviation Insurance Resources by calling 877-247-7767 or visit today and receive a free Aircraft insurance quote! 

Aviation Insurance Resource specializes in a full range of aircraft, airplane & airport insurance to clients of all sizes. And we are licensed in all 50 states.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Friday, November 9, 2012

REIL Remarks #5

(a little delayed and only one for today to keep you wanting more!)

A new weekly segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"Large flock of ducks over lake." 33M, Mississippi

So, just right now?  Or all the time?

Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No's in Aviation

No.  It's usually one of a baby's first and most favorite words.  After hearing it so much from their parents, it's what they always give back.  "No! No! No!"  As you become an adult, the no's aren't so much from your parents anymore, but often come from opportunities.  The 'no' is always hidden under more polite words, such as "we regret to inform you..."

In a world with so many no's it is very hard to keep your chin up and keep moving forward, especially when it may be from someone close to you or someone you have looked up to.  It is important to remember that the 'no' is not something negative about you as a person, they are simply saying no to that specific opportunity. 

In my aviation career, I have received many no's as I'm sure you have to.  With the rising cost of training, with legal requirements changing for flight officers, and being such a relatively small industry, you will receive many passed opportunities.  Keep moving forward, because it will make the 'yes' that much more powerful in the end. I received a pretty harsh no yesterday, but it has only helped me to realize how important my cause really is and reinforced the need for me to be involved with Women Of Aviation Week.

I cannot believe it, but I am about to quote Sylvester Stallone, "I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat."

Instead of a bugle, imagine your stall horn going off.  All you need to do is adjust your angle of attack, tip that nose down a bit...and you are gaining speed!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Captain Kitty

Found this on Pinterest yesterday, looks just like our cat.  Pinterest is one of those sites all my friends were on I refused to join for the longest time, and of course am now addicted to it.  Naturally, I have an aviation board on there.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Time to listen to SMAC035!

This latest episode covers what to do when losing radio communication in Class Bravo and Charlie airspace and the results of a survey involving the topic of Track Up vs North Up when flying and navigating with moving map displays.

So listen away my eager readers and listeners! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

REIL Remarks #4

A new weekly segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"PAPI Rwy 16 baffled and unusable" TLJ, Alaska

Aw, the poor lights are confused!

"Ruts and puddles concentrated along runways inverted crown" AUK, Alaska

....what the???

Have some to share?  Feel free to send them my way and I will add them to the REIL Remarks archive!