Wednesday, January 30, 2013

REIL Remarks #10

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

"Windsock is a flag." KPY, Alaska

So, it's not really a windsock...

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Women Color the Skies!

28 January, 2013 in Headlines by Mireille - Intl Team Leader
Interactive visualisation of activities during the week
Interactive visualization of activities during the week

Women are playing a critical role in aviation each day. Let’s show the world!

Calling all female commercial pilots, air traffic controllers, dispatchers, mechanics, engineers… any woman involved in the operation of commercial flights in a technical capacity.

Thorough Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 4-10, 2013, the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide and will collect the flight tracks of commercial flights operated in part by a woman in a technical capacity as well as the flight tracks of female introductory flights conducted worldwide.

The project named “Women Color The Skies” will combine the collected flight tracks to create an online animated and interactive visualization of the current involvement of women within the industry as well as the level of engagement on the part of the industry to encourage more to join.
planefinderProfessional women of aviation involved in commercial flight operations in a technical capacity such pilot, air traffic controller, dispatcher, mechanic, engineer, etc. are invited to report their professional activities of the week to see the flight tracks of their flights added to the online visualization.

Let’s come together and show the world what today’s Women Of Aviation are doing and how many excited future Women Of Aviation are looking forward to following them in their footsteps.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The $100 Flight

"We're not going anywhere?" :(
Last weekend, Bob, our friend Matt, our pup Turbo and I went for a scenic flight over the Flight 93 Memorial and Horseshoe Railroad in Pennsylvania.  The rule with the company plane is you must fill the tanks up after every flight. However, we were starving and left without doing so, planning to the next day. It didn't happen and many excuses and cold days later we finally got out there today to do so. It was a bit warmer than it had been so I was glad I didn't do it on a very cold day having to run the engine for such a short period of time.  We filled it up and the grand total was $106. That was the closest to the $100 hamburger (well, we didn't have a hamburger but you catch my drift) that we have gotten!  My new goal is to hit $100 right on the dot.  

The airport was bustling today, and although I had not planned on flying, when we got there that was all I could think of. We did not bring headsets, though, and I really did not want to talk through the handheld. So we enjoyed a pleasant taxi to and from the pumps, with Turbo on Bob's lap, waving to some friends along the way.  

Speaking of headsets, I got my Lightspeed back that had cracked when we were up in Michigan. They had replaced that piece free of charge and even included some new mic covers and a headset case when returning it. I was really pleased with their customer service! Although, I must admit I still want to get the Halo headset recommended in the comments of that blog! Maybe that will have to be a gift from yours truly for a summer filled with flying :o)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Selena's First Flight

In a previous post, I had mentioned that when flying into airports, you have no idea who you could possibly inspire. One such ladies was Selena, whom I admire for her passion and enthusiasm.  She dove head first into her new goal of becoming a pilot and I look forward to her success.

Monday, I received this excited message:

"Victoria!!!! It was awesome!!"

Her excitement was clear.  Selena's instructor said she was doing great on her turns, even with the rough wind that day.  She's ordering her private pilot kit and looking forward to learning more!

As most of us have, she is also looking for scholarships to help her along her pilot path.  If you have any unique ways that you funded your pilot training, feel free to share them with her here.  Also, if there are any new scholarships out there that most of us may not be aware of, I encourage you to share those as well.

Good luck, Selena! I look forward to hearing more from you and flying with you sometime soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Puppies @ Women Fly it Forward?!

Turbo and his best friend Olive, have started a new campaign for Women Fly it Forward! Maybe you can resist women in airplanes, but can you resist puppies in airplanes?! :o) We still need all the help and sponsors we can get!  Message me for how we can put you to use! 

Women Of Aviation Week - More Canadian Events Posted!

21 January, 2013 in Latest News by Lesley - Canada Team Leader

DSC_0147[1]There are now 4 confirmed events confirmed and posted on the website, one in Manitoba and three in Ontario and up to 15 others in various stages of planning!!

Jill, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was the first to announce! The event offers Day Long Aviation Adventure & FREE flights for Girls and Women! Check out her  listing and see what a great job she has done getting sponsors!

invitationNext, Maureen in Waterloo, Ontario, joined the party, with her Fly it Forward with Flare announcement! She invites Women and Girls Come and join them for a fun, female friendly, fly day, including FREE flights!

Then came Annette in Tillsonburg, Ontario, where FREE flights are also being offered to women and girls interested in aviation! And last, but not least, Anna in Buttonville joined in with her Fly it Forward Event. She invites women and girls to experience th thrill of fligt by going on a FREE 15 minute flight.

Also, check out the great flyer that Anna is using. If you like it, please contact your Canadian Team Leader who can customize it for you.

If you add up all the FREE flights that are available from these four events and we manage to fill every available flight, we will introduce 1,380 women and girls to aviation with just these four Canadian events!
Go Canada!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

'Like' Turbo the Flying Dog!

Well, our puppy Turbo has become quite popular!  After listening to many suggestions to start one, Turbo now has his very own Facebook page.  Next time you log on, be sure to 'like' him!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Flight 93 Memorial & Horseshoe Curve Flight

The sky was clear blue, it was 50 degrees out and time to fly!  Bob, Matt, Turbo and I hopped into the Cessna for an aerial tour of the Flight 93 Memorial & the Horseshoe 
Curve Railroad.

Matt and Turbo
The Horseshoe Curve is 79nm from FDK and just about 15nm north of Altoona Airport (AOO).  We ended up stopping at AOO for a pee break.  We had quite a headwind and I had to go!  It was gusting to 20 knots, but mostly down the runway, although we experienced a bit of wind sheer. 

Windy by the Pilatus!

The Horseshoe Curve is said to be an engineering marvel, and I'd believe it with that tight turn the trains go around.  It's just about 5 miles north of the airport 7G4 and pretty easy to find.  Just keep an eye on the mountains and all those wind turbines!

Horseshoe Curve
 Next, just about 30 miles west of that, was the Flight 93 memorial.  It's also easy to find, about 6 miles east of airport 2G9.  It's also just a mile or two from a closed airport.  It had a nice long runway, but sadly featured large X's on each end and no buildings around it.  We circled around the memorial silently a few times before heading back to FDK.

Flight 93 Memorial
The flight back was a bit bumpy at times, but we enjoyed a tailwind this time around.  On the way to our destinations we had a 70 knot groundspeed, which grew to 125 knots on the way back.

Bob, Matt and I
How did Turbo do on his second flight you ask?  He slept almost the whole time on Matt's lap.  But, we didn't pass up the chance for a few photo opportunities!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Women Fly It Forward Committee Welcomes Astronaut Pam Melroy

Women Fly It Forward Committee Welcomes
Astronaut Pam Melroy At The Frederick Airport, MD

Pam Melroy will inspire girls and women to seek aerospace careers as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the female flight in space


Frederick, MD, January 17, 2013 - The Women Fly It Forward organizing committee is proud to announce that, in collaboration with the Association of Space Explorers, it will welcome Astronaut Pam Melroy at the Frederick Municipal Airport on March 9, 2013.  She will present at 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM during a free access public event.

In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space. Since then, only 55 additional women have flown in space.

Colonel Melroy served as pilot on two space flights (STS-92 in 2000 and STS-112 in 2002) and was the mission commander on STS-120 in 2007, making her one of only two women who commanded the space shuttle. She has logged more than 924 hours (more than 38 days) in space.

Before becoming an astronaut, Colonel Melroy had a long pilot career in the Air Force and flew in combat. She has piloted 50 types of aircraft and was a test pilot in the C-17 Combined Test Force.

Colonel Melroy will share insights about her path and career in an industry where few women venture with the hope to inspire girls and women to seek careers in the air and space industry.

Also on hand to inspire girls and women will be Dr. Mamta Nagaraja, project manager of the Women@NASA program, a joint project between NASA and the White House created to stimulate interest in math, science and engineering among girls. 

The event is held as part of the annual Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week celebration and is designed to raise awareness of the opportunities available to girls and women in the air and space industry and spark vocations.

Many aviation and space-related activities including free introductory flights for girls and women are planned. Access is free and everyone is welcome.

"Role models such as Pam have guided me along my path within the aviation industry," says pilot and event organizer Victoria Neuville Zajko. "My hope is that many girls and women will be moved to take action after listening to Colonel Melroy's inspiring life path."

For additional details about the event, please visit

The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) is an international nonprofit professional and educational organization of over 350 individuals from 35 nations who have flown in space. Founded in 1985, ASE's mission is to provide a forum for professional dialogue among individuals who have flown in space, support space science and exploration for the benefit of all, promote education in science and engineering, foster greater environmental awareness, and encourage international cooperation in the human exploration of space.

Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, held annually during the week of March 8, aims to foster diversity in aviation by celebrating history, raising awareness, and sparking vocations as thousands of girls and women are introduced to aviation through industry-wide collaboration.

The Women Fly It Forward Committee is based in Frederick, MD, and organizes an event at the Frederick Airport annually during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week.


Friday, January 18, 2013

REIL Remarks #9

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

"Rwy 17-35 needs mowing and surface uneven."  47M, Tennessee

Go mow the runway or no allowance for you this week young man!

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

Thursday, January 17, 2013

“No Excuses” in Kentucky

TAPPWomen Of Aviation Week is special in that each event around the globe has its own unique and individual touch.  Such is the case in Louisville, Kentucky, with the event “Teenage Pregnancy – An excuse to take to the sky”.

The Westport TAAP (Teenage Parent Program) School’s motto states that, “teenage pregnancy is not an excuse to fail but rather a chance to succeed.”  Through this school, young mothers are supported and encouraged to complete their high school diploma.  Every year, the have a 97% success rate!

Thanks to volunteers at Bowman Field Airport, these teenage mothers will be given an extra opportunity to soar and succeed.  On Friday, March 8th, the students curriculum will teach the young mothers to reach for the sky as they go through pilot ground school lessons.  The day will end by putting some of that knowledge to the test with a flight in a small aircraft!

Pregnancy and motherhood does not mean you have to give up on your dreams.   There are no excuses during Women Of Aviation Week.  On March 8th, these ladies will soar!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

SMAC040 - Interview with John Ponts - Part 2

In Episode #39 we shared Part 1 of Behind the Scenes of Flying Wild Alaska with John Ponts. This audio interview is Part 2 in the series with Ponts as we wrap up our discussion from his desire to be a professional athlete to his transition into flying and includes your listener questions answered by John. Join us as we finish getting down and dirty with the real John Ponts!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Celebrating Aerospace in South Dakota!

SDThe first woman pilot in South Dakota, Nellie Zabel Willhite, had an extra hurdle to fly over.  She was deaf.  Earning her pilot certificate at age 35, she soon earned her living barnstormer.

Nellie was one with the plane, “Even though I could barely hear the engine roar, I could tell right away if anything was wrong – just from the vibrations.”

Nellie is inducted in the South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame alongside many pilot greats, including Vi Cowden.  Vi was a W.A.S.P (Women Air Force Service Pilot) during World War II.  She ferried war planes throughout the world, she flew so often she could have circumnavigated the Earth 55 times.

Celebrating the history of South Dakota’s remarkable female pilots, the South Dakota Air & Space museum presents two events during Women Of Aviation Week.   On March 7th, historian Norma Kramer will transport you into the past with a presentation of this history of women and flight in South Dakota. Next, a female B-1 bomber crew member will snap you back into the present with her tales of her experiences.

On Saturday, March 9th, explore the cosmos in the GeoDome, a portable planetarium provided by the Journey Museum.  Starting at 9am, participants will be guided through the skies, learning all about their home on Earth and the solar system.

The South Dakota Air & Space Museum is all set to fuel the minds of future pilots and astronauts.  Maybe someday, because of their efforts, we’ll be celebrating even more great South Dakota aviation history!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inspirational Moments

I have learned that each time I talk to someone new about flying that I can become an inspiration to that person.  These inspirational moments can take place when you least expect and we may not recognize them when they happen.  As pilots, we must remember that anytime we fly, we are setting an example to those around us.  That example is that no matter who you are, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. 

On New Years Eve, Bob and I flew to West Virginia to adopt a puppy from a rescue called Dustin's Angels.  The rescue was formed after a tragic loss in the family and they all pulled together to rescue pets in Dustin's memory.  The whole family came out to the airport to greet us.  Of course, that afternoon was mostly full of puppy talk and picking out our new pup, Turbo.  However, we did talk a bit about the plane and let everyone come over to see it and take pictures.  Little did I know that the simple gesture of showing the airplane to the rescue crew would set things in motion that could change one girl's life.

Through my work with Women Of Aviation Week, I've discovered that many girls and women don't know that flying is a possibility for them, many just need an invite to take up the opportunity or to see a fellow female enjoying the freedom of flight.  The next day, I received the following email from the rescue organizer, Sherry, about her daughter Selena:
Hi Victoria, Just wanted to say I love seeing the pictures of Turbo. It makes us so happy knowing he has a great home. I also wanted to tell you that my 16 year old daughter was so in awe of you and your lifestyle. You inspired her so much that she begged me to let her get her pilot license. She has her first flight lesson on Monday. I was wondering if you'd be willing to kind of mentor her and talk to her about flying. I want her to have all the strong talented women as possible to be her role models.
I immediately contacted Selena and after one conversation, have no doubt she will accomplish who newly found goals:
I have always wanted to travel but had never even really thought I could be a pilot! After thinking about it, I realized it would be an awesome job and would involve several of my interests! I want to be a commercial pilot.

Last week, Selena started her journey to becoming a commercial pilot and one day, she'll fly to an airport and inspire future female aviators!  Unfortunately, it was too cloudy and Selena didn't get to fly, but she did learn how to pre-flight a plane and her instructor provided her with some advice and what to expect in her training.

I wish I had a female role model and friend to help guide me through my flight training, so I am looking forward to helping Selena in any way I can.  If you would like to share any advice or well wishes with Selena, please leave a comment here!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Women's Questions About Flying In Small Aircraft Answered

It took an amazing level collaboration, video shoot by dedicated amateurs in 3 countries and 2 continents, and a good editor to make this happen.

We went to the streets and asked women what they would want to know before going on a small aircraft flight then we answered their most common questions.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Making Dreams Come True


“I learned what every dreaming child needs to know — that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it.” Beryl Markham, first woman to solo east to west across the Atlantic.

For the third year, Woman of Aviation Worldwide Week will be making dreams of aviation come true for women throughout the world.  The Golden Triangle Airport in Columbus, MS recently announced that they are excited to be part of this inspirational movement.  Ladies young and old in Mississippi are invited to dream big during Women Of Aviation Week by attending their event, fittingly called Dreams of Wings.  Aircraft and pilots will fly in from all over the state to encourage  those in attendance.  Participants will be able to view static aircraft displays, listen to guest speakers and receive mini flight lessons.  To ensure that as many dreams will come true as possible, the entire event is free.

No horizon is too far for those who participate in Women Of Aviation Week events, through Dreams of Wings, we have no doubt that the Golden Triangle Airport will be inspiring future female pilots for years to come!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dustin's Angels Helps Puppy get his Wings

I've noticed a new theme in my posts as of late, Women Of Aviation Week and our adorable puppy, Turbo!  Mostly because both have taken up all my spare time in life right now, but it is an excellent way to spend it.  Our flight into Braxton Airport where we adopted Turbo made it into their local paper, the Nicholas Chronicle!  Enjoy!  You may click on the photo for a larger version.

Click to enlarge

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Almost $2k in prizes during WOAW!

Organizer and media9 January, 2013 in Headlines, Latest News by Intl Team Leader

“It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action,” said Honoré de Balzac.

The leadership, the friends, and the member-partners of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide truly value the courage to act. Rewarding participants for their courage to act has been an inherent part of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week since its infancy.

How can you reward the people who, selflessly, spend countless hours motivating volunteers, enticing supporters, and greeting girls and women at the airport with one sole goal in mind: empowering others? Our best answer is to empower them in return.

At the controls
Our Event Organizer Contest is based on a simple point system that rewards various actions associated with organizing an event. More than about just rewarding flights, the contest rewards overall effectiveness (flights, volunteers, media coverage, number of girls/women enrolled in the First-to-Solo Challenge, etc.).

To reward the most outstanding event organizer in 2013, the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide will award $1,000 CAD towards training (flight or organizational skills) to the event organizer who earns the most points in the contest.

Learning to fly takes courage, work, and dedication. This life-transforming process is a challenge.

There is no doubt that the emotional impact of the first flight and the attractiveness of the activity are great motivators. However, as Honoré de Blazac said, there is a big difference between noticing how cool flying is and taking all the action steps required to earn the right to fly an aircraft solo.

Flying an aircraft solo is, in itself, one of the most emotionally-charged and rewarding experiences that life has to offer. However, that special moment when a new pilot is born is an occasion for the entire aviation community to rally in the celebration of a shared experience.

Big moments in life are often associated with ceremonies. Soloing is one of this BIG moments.

To celebrate the accomplishment of the first person from the 2013 class of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week first time flyers to solo, we are offering the winner of the First-to-Solo Challenge a “cross-country ready” package worth $700, that includes a Sennheiser S1 Passive Headset, full WOAW week gear, and everything to handle the cross-country phase.

We wish good luck to all participants and are eager to give away these amazing prizes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Turbo the flying dog visits HGR

Turbo wanted to get to know the local airports, so today we visited Hagerstown (HGR) by car.  Bob was getting the annual done on the Glasair and I also had a video shoot with Air Fare America.  

Our first stop was at Royal Aircraft Services to pick up Bob.  The Glasair needed a few fix ups and we were sending the starter out to get repaired.  Our mechanic, Tom, and other employees couldn't get enough of little Turbo!  He also couldn't get enough of all the stuff on the floor to sniff!

Turbo's popularity continued as we went over to the terminal to meet the Air Fare America crew who would film me talking about some of my favorite places I have flown.  Air Fare America's passion is "Exploring America's love of travel, food, history thru aviation attractions & adventures" and will even become a TV show in the future.  Maybe someday Turbo will make a guest appearance!

Things have been pretty busy for me lately with Women Of Aviation Week and other obligations.  Hopefully, our little flying family will be up in the air again sometime soon.

Flight to Success Feature

Thank you to Karlene Petitt of Flight to Success for guest posting my "Be the Change" article in her blog yesterday.  She has always been supportive of my goals and those of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week and I appreciate her help in spreading the word.  So, check it out here and while you are at it, read her book, Flight for Control!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fly Ladies Wanted

7 January, 2013 in Headlines, Latest News by Victoria -US Team Leader

idahoAlys McKey was the first woman to fly in the state of Idaho, all because she answered the call in a newspaper ad requesting a “young lady to learn to fly for exhibition purposes”.  There are now ads up all around Boise, Idaho looking for more ladies to fly during Women Of Aviation Week at Jackson Jet Center!  75 lucky girls and women can register for a free scenic flight.  What do they need to bring?  Just a camera to capture the memories!

Those on the ground will have are in for an exciting day as well as the airport welcomes Idaho aviation hall of famer and female NASA pioneer, GeneNora Jessen!  Ms. Jessen has been flying since 1958 and will have her autobiography on hand and ready to sign.  A buffet, aviation booths, fire truck demonstration and aircraft traffic controllers will round out the day’s activities.

Wanted: Ladies of all ages curious about what aviation can offer them.  No previous experience necessary.  Register now!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

AMEs, Hedgehogs, and Puppies!

Today was a full one, that's for sure.  The morning started off with a very short but chilly flight to Hagerstown Airport (KHGR) for me to get my medical exam.  I'm always nervous about this due to my special issuance, but all was great and I was able to relax on the flight back.  After breakfast at Airways Restaurant back in Frederick it was time to canvas downtown to pass out fliers and look for more sponsors (we need 'em!) for Women Fly it Forward.

Remember that little puppy named Turbo we recently flew to West Virginia to adopt?  Seriously, how could you forget him?  Well he had a fun meeting with our hedgehog tonight...

Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Turbo the Flying Dog - Photos!

Turbo is enjoying his new life with us and looks forward to many flights to come.  We'll get a photo album started for him eventually.  If you want to "ooo" and "ahh" and his squishy goodness right now, you can check out some more photos of him below.  Can you tell I'm a proud parent? :o)

Picking Turbo up at Braxton County Airport

Chilling on the plane after a speedy (and sleepy!) flight

His favorite toy is, naturally, an airplane!  It's as big as him!
You can read more about Turbo's pick up flight here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

SMAC039 - Interview with John Ponts

Happy New Year! Stuck Mic just released part one of two of our interview with Flying Wild Alaska's John Ponts. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorite Flying Moments of 2012

It's that time of year again...the time to look over the year that has flown by (pun not intended) and to look at my favorite moments.  It was full of great trips, experiences and even a name change!

March: Women Fly it Forward 2012
The third annual event introducing women to aviation through the gift of flight.  Every year, I continue to be inspired by the individuals that volunteer at and attend this event. Special guests included the USAF, Jane Wicker a aerobatic pilot and wing walker, and the Discovery Channel's Sarah Fraher!

May: Weekend Flight to New Orleans
An over 1,600NM round trip to the Big Easy!  The flights are always interesting with great stops along the way.  Our destination had so many fun sights to offer!

June: Bob's Surprise Birthday Trip 1 and 2
It's so hard to keep a secret in when it is just too cool and for someone you love!  Amazingly enough, I was able to keep Bob's birthday surprise trip from him for many months.  Where did we fly to?  The world's largest radio telescope, hiking, dinner on a historic railroad, and playing in waterfalls!

June: Formation Flight with a Rans and a Pitts
My friend invited me to fly one morning in his boss needed aerial shots of his plane...perfect timing :)

June: (Wow! Lot's of fun stuff happened in June) My airplane tattoo!
A promise made to myself long ago.  The title is self explanatory.

July: We got married! Of course we had an aviation themed reception!
We met through our love for aviation and four years later we were married.  Of course our wedding had to be aviation themed!  Unfortunately, it's hard to find fun ideas for aviation weddings online, so I described what we did in this post.

August: Our version of the Top Gun flyby in a balloon!
Flying once again with Tailwinds over Frederick-Top Gun style!

 October: Fall formation flight with friends
A flight of two Glasairs and a Rans into Luray, VA.  We visited the Luray Caverns and enjoyed a delicious $100 hamburger over fun conversation!

October: A flight to reunite at Cedar Point
I had grown up visiting America's Roller Coast every summer with my friend, Rachel.  It had been far to long so we decided to reunite at our favorite amusement park!

December: Landing at a winery
The title pretty much says it. Kyle and I took the short flight in his Rans to Linganore Wine Cellars to pick up some wine!

Not pictured: December: Sunset Descent and Puppy Pickup Flight because they were just posted :)
Happy New Year!  Wishing all my readers only the best in today and for the years to come!