Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Leading the Shift to a Diverse Air and Space Industry

Lufthansa joins voices with the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide
Contact: Mireille Goyer
604-259-9763 x302
Vancouver, August 22, 2013 – Today, Lufthansa, Germany's flagship carrier, became the first airline worldwide to join voices with the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide as it announced that it will redouble its efforts to attract more female pilots for its passenger and cargo fleet.
The airline has become aware of the common misconception among the female population that the job might not really be for women. The carrier reported that only 20 percent of all applications currently came from women and that many potential candidates obviously still believed that the job was better suited for men.
Since 2010, the grassroots movement that gave birth to the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide has been advocating that the main barrier to women’s participation in the industry is perception, not finances, and has encouraged the industry to change its image from male-only to women friendly through messaging and outreach.
Over the years, its flagship outreach initiative, Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, has welcomed more than 40,000 girls and women at aviation facilities and introduced more than 8,000 to flying in a small aircraft on four continents. Many have learnt to fly or started aeronautical careers as a result.
Similarly to Lufthansa’s observation, an exit poll conducted by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide among participants of the 2013 Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week found that more than 76% of the participants had never thought of seeking information about aviation activities before hearing of Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week. The experience led more than 77% of them to consider undertaking an activity in aviation for pleasure or for a career.
“We welcome Lufthansa’s leadership among airlines as it joins our efforts to deliberately shift the message in order to grow the female pilot population,” says Mireille Goyer, Founder and President of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide. “Our advocacy was born from the observation that years of addressing the low levels of female participation as a financial issue using scholarships have failed to move the trends and from the knowledge that numerous independent studies point to a perception issue instead.”
Lufthansa was the first airline in the world to hire a female pilot, Marga von Etzdorf, in 1928. She flew passengers on the Berlin-Breslau and Berlin-Stuttgart-Basel routes in Junkers F-13 aircraft.
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 Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) is a not-for-profit consortium of businesses and organizations from around the world whose mission is to foster diversity in the air and space industry through outreach, education, and advocacy. ###

Thursday, August 22, 2013

REIL Remarks #20

Yay! It's time for another segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications! This one is classic...

"For fuel call 911" ANY, Kansas

That seems a bit excessive especially since there is 24 hr self svc....

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

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Visiting the NAS Wildwood Aviation Museum

A weekend trip to Cape May with Bob and Turbo concluded with a visit to the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum at the Cape May County Airport (WWD) in New Jersey. From April 1943 to February 1946 the NAS Wildwood was an active base focused on training dive bombers during World War II. Now it is a museum housed in an all wood, 92,000 square foot hangar featuring many aircraft on display and interactive activities.

I loved how welcoming and interactive the museum was. First off, it was dog friendly and you could get in many of the aircraft displays. Needless to say, that led to several photo ops of a very tired puppy.

One of the first things you notice when walking in it Atlantic City's Bader Field ATC tower. Everyone is welcome to go up in it and you can communicate from the tower to a small station below it on the ground. When we were up there, kids were telling us through the comm, "cute doggie!" Also in that area were several large engines on display, military aircraft, a WWII poster exhibit and a Coca Cola exhibit.

The other half of the hangar featured a US Coat Guard display, several gyrocopters and a space display. This side also included five small flight simulators and interactive exhibits to understand how airplanes fly, how the instruments work and concepts like how drag affects achieving Mach speeds. Bob's inner ham radio geek came out in this portion of the museum when we entered the radio room.

I recommend visiting Cape May sometime, it offers a lot for Av Geeks and non Av Geeks alike. Besides the beaches and the museum, there's even a restaurant on field we didn't get a chance to visit. We'll definitely be back and I'd love to hear about your suggestions of your favorite things to do in Cape May as well!

Want to see more of the museum? Check out some photos Bob took here!

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Weekend Getaway Flight to Cape May

Is summer really almost over? Not yet, I'm determined to not let the warm days end! Bob, Turbo and I took a trip to WWD to enjoy a weekend getaway in the Victorian beach town of Cape May, NJ. It took just 45 minutes direct from Frederick to reach Cape May County Airport flying through Baltimore Class B airspace along the way. Weather was great on the way over and as usual, Turbo nodded off the second he step foot in the plane.

There were many planes coming in to enjoy the cooler beach weather, there was a jet and maybe four other planes in the airport area as we were coming in. The frequency was even more busy since it covered surrounding airports. To make landing complicated, the wind was coming in from such a way that pilots were using both runways 01 and 10. Furthermore, some were calling out one runway, when they were actually lined up for another. So that kept us on our toes.

After landing, we parked by a lovely Glasair II and talked with the gentlemen that owned it for awhile. It turns out we parked by the museum and the FBO, Flight Level Aviation, was just across the ramp, so we had a bit of a walk ahead of us, but it turned out being a good thing as we didn't have to pay the $15 overnight fee. Everyone inside the FBO was very nice and there were a few corporate pilots in there ready to give Turbo a good petting. They also had a bowl of water waiting for dogs that would be coming in. We picked up our car from a fellow pilot, available only to pilots through Relay Rental, at Flight Level Aviation and were off for a new adventure.

Our first stop was lunch and we sat outside on the dog friendly patio of Zoe's on Beach Ave. The next day, Zoe's proved to be the prefect spot for breakfast as well.

Next, we were off to board the Cape May Whale Watcher. We had a Groupon, which was the deciding factor in going to Cape May in the first place. The Whale Watcher is very dog friendly, so Turbo boarded the boat and headed to the top level with us ready to look for some whales. Unfortunately, no whales were found and we just spotted a few dolphins. However, it still was fun to be on the water and they guarantee their boat rides for the viewing of ocean mammals. So, since we didn't not get to see many animals of the sea, we got our tickets stamped and we can come back again-anytime-for another whale watch boat ride for free!

Our hotel for the night was the Palace Hotel. I could take it or leave it. But, it was last minute, was off the ocean in walking distance from many places and dog friendly. The sun bearing down on us on the boat had really tuckered us out, so following a quick nap (including Turbo!) we were off to explore the cape and find dinner.

Dogs are not allowed along the boardwalk, which was OK, we enjoyed a beautiful stroll through streets lined with Victorian homes and nice restaurants. We enjoyed a good drink and dinner at Aleathea's restaurant, took Turbo to his new favorite store, Dog Days of Cape May, got some organic ice cream at Bliss and enjoyed some live music from a gazebo in the park.

The following morning we enjoyed time on the Lower Township beach with Turbo. It was an overcast day and drizzle came and went, but that made for a pretty quiet beach. It was on the inlet and fun to watch the big ferries come and go. Many people were running about with their dogs in the sand. Turbo had a blast. Which was great, because last time he wasn't so sure. My favorite moment of the beach day was when Bob was taking a nap on our big towel. Turbo came by and decided to start digging near Bob's head. Quickly, Bob found his beard and mouth full of sand that Turbo had flung back at him. I wish I had it on video! This was a very clean beach to bring your dog to, much better than the last one we visited in New Jersey. But, it may not stay dog friendly so be sure to always pick up after your pet and keep them leashed so the rules do not change!

After lunch on the patio of the Rusty Nail, we left for the airport. We returned the car, packed up our things and decided to check out the NAS Wildwood Air Museum, which also happens to be dog friendly! Check back tomorrow for my post about that.

Want to check out more pictures from our visit to Cape May? Check them out here.

Friday, August 16, 2013

SMAC054 – Backyard Flying, Kitfox Aircraft, Rotax Engines, CRAZEDpilot

Today we bring a fun interview with a really cool pilot, aircraft and aviation business owner, who’s fortunate to fly from his own backyard runway, leaping into the Oregon wilderness for all the off-airport flying adventures one can handle! Brendan O’Mara of shares his experiences flying Kitfox aircraft, the reliability of Rotax engines, what it’s like to operate into his 16% grade grass-runway in his backyard, and a whole bunch more.
Listen Up! And Listen Now :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I've Always Wanted to ____

Flying CousinsI was interviewed by a female reporter about my work with Women Of Aviation Week and at the end of our conversation she stated how she has always wanted to learn to fly. It made me think about how often I hear this phrase and how often I, myself, said: “I always wanted to _”. Yet, too often, we fail to take action and end up never getting it done.

If we've always wanted to do something, what is stopping us?

What could we be capable of if where were unstoppable, if we were not afraid?

Have you always wanted to make a difference? All it takes is that one thought, or that one forward movement that could lead to a chain of events that could open up a new world of opportunity in a woman's life. I have effected change after seeing a story on a blog about events focused on introducing women to aviation. My immediate reaction was to host one myself. In three years, over 750 girls and women received flights at my home airport. This chain of events led these women to learn that their future weren't limited to the ground.

After three years hosting an event in Frederick, MD, I made the decision to pass on the reigns to a new event organizer so I could better focus on outreach throughout the US. I view my second year as US Team Leader as a challenge not only to myself, but to airports around the country. Last year, I became short of my goal to have a Women Of Aviation Week event in each of the 50 states of the US.

The word always can be defined as: all the time; continuously; uninterruptedly. I will all the time, continuously, uninterruptedly challenge my airport community to step up to the plate to make a difference. During WOAW week, let us introduce the equivalent 100 women per state to aviation in commemoration of 100 years of female aerobatic pilots!

Always can be defined as forever. Aviation is a passion that will be forever etched in my heart. I will always enjoy sharing it with others, and I know you will too. Always can also mean in any event and at any time. The phrase "I've always wanted to" can be turned into a "I did that" for any event, at any time. Women Of Aviation Week is the perfect time.

Yes, I saw Disney's Planes!

I think you've probably read enough reviews by now and probably have even seen the movie already. If not, I'll say this much. It's great fun, especially with a group of pilots and aviation enthusiasts. Yes, we were the oldest people in the theater without children opening weekend. Ok, we had one child cooking in a pregnant friend of ours, but I don't think that baby counts yet. I'm looking forward to the second film and so happy to see a new generation of children receive a positive message and experience the excitement of air racing on the big screen.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BFR & a High Performance Endorsement in a C182

Time flies! I say it all the time and I think it just gets worse as I get older...and when I discover it's BFR (biannual flight review) time again! The other day, I was sitting at my desk at work and said,
"Wow! It's been two years since I became a commercial pilot!" Then there was a pause and probably a look of confusion on my face, "Wait a minute...wasn't that in June?
Oops. A quick look through my blog and I discovered that yes, I was in desperate need of a flight review! I quickly lined up my friend, Joe, to fly as my CFI and then the next step was finding an airplane as my company plane was down. My friend from the 99s, Lin, has a beautiful G1000 Cessna 182 that she did not hesitate to offer me. Upon looking through my logbook, I discovered that I had yet to receive my high performance endorsement. So Joe agreed to work on that with me, too. I have to say, my friends rock!
We arrived at the airport at 7pm and I was a bit stressed that day, which didn't make for a organized Victoria while getting the plane all ready. After a good walk around, hopping in the C182 and pulling out the checklist, I realized I had forgotten the keys in the (now locked) hangar. Oy. When I got back in, Joe gave me a gentle "breathe" and we continued on.
The G1000 can look overwhelming to get started, but I followed the checklist religiously and it was a breeze. When doing my instrument training in 2005 I had used a Cessna 172 with G1000 on several occasions, including for one cross country, but it had been so long it felt completely new to me once again. I remembered, though, despite not flying the G1000 in awhile and having no experience in a C182, that it is still an airplane, they all work on the same basic principals, so I knew I still could fly it. The V speeds and pattern speeds were all just about 10 knots faster than the C172, so it was a quick adjustment.
We departed to the practice area to do some steep turns and stalls. I was pretty disappointed in my steep turns, as they usually are my favorite maneuver. The C182 was a bit heavier and I found keeping it on the ball to be difficult. I ended up laughing at what we had to dub my "rudder dance". After a few rounds, they became acceptable and we did a few stalls without a hitch. I found that not focusing on the video game like screens in the cockpit and looking outside became an additional challenge.
Soon, it was time to do some landings. This I was worried about as I know how I am with new aircraft. I become "afraid of the ground" and always end up high on final and flare too soon. The C182 is a tad nose heavy as well, so I had the additional concern of not slamming the nosewheel down. Although I was high on all three landings and did flare a tad too soon, they were pretty smooth with only a slight bounce. My focus on the nosewheel prevailed and it was always the last  thing to gently contact the earth. We did two power off 180s, the first ended in a go around and the second I hit the 1,000' mark. It was a great way to relive my commercial training and do some slips to lose altitude quickly.
No, it wasn't my best flight and I was hard on myself at first. But as I look back on yesterdays flight it is exactly what I wanted and needed. It is very easy to become complacent when you fly the same plane(s) regularly on cross country hops. The BFR work helped me knock off rust on maneuvers and practices that make me a better, well rounded pilot. I had been missing the challenge of aviation maneuvers and that of learning a new aircraft and earning a new endorsement. So, while my work had moments of suckiness, I still ended up enjoying the flight, because in the air I am free and I am challenged. Flying helps me become the best person (not just pilot) that I can be. The post BFR Hershey's ice cream didn't hurt either ;)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

REIL Remarks #19

Wow! It's been a month! Time for another segment of my blog featuring the funny finds in aviation publications!

"High mountains all sides except entrance, one way ops, no south ops, subject to heavy swells & squirrely winds." WSB, Alaska.

I just get this image in my head:

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

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

You got it, it's the de Havilland Vampire!

Built at the end of WWII by the British, this jet fighter never saw combat but definitely was worth a watch when we were recently in Pontiac. Thanks to all those who answered my "name this aircraft" post on Monday!Similar aircraft include the Swallow, Venom and Sea Vixen. We didn't know what it the aircraft was, and was happy to have the pilot answer over frequency!

Congrats to TheoGee, @majorwilf and @swpilot for the correct answers! You each earn a virtual Toriafly gold star! I'll also tip my hat to one of my favorite bloggers, Suzy Commuter, for her always entertaining and comedic responses :o) 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Name this aircraft!

Saw this beauty last week after landing in Michigan last week. The pilot was doing some training in it. Take a stab at what you think it is in the comments below and I'll answer later this week!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

SMAC053 – Aviation Accidents, How We Cope, What Keeps Us Flying

Today’s show is on the more serious and sober side as we discuss aviation accidents and how they’ve affected us on a personal level. Recently, co-host Victoria Zajko came to learn that 2 of the aircraft she flew during her flight training had been involved in fatal crashes where the pilot and occupants did not survive. Not long after that Victoria also lost her friend and wing walker Jane Wicker in a tragic air show accident in Dayton, OH.
These events spurred a back stage conversation amongst the co-hosts and today we share with you our own experiences losing friends and family in fatal aviation related accidents including how we’ve dealt with each situation and what keeps us in the saddle, behind the yoke, still flying.
Listen to Stuck Mic AvCast Episode 035 here!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Our visit to the Ottawa Flying Club Cafe and Lounge

Founded in 1928 and now the last flight school located at an international airport in Canada, the Ottawa Flying Club was a refreshing place to visit after a long journey to pick up our plane. When we had first visited the OFC a week before, we were in such a rush and grumpy about our 8 1/2 hour ride ahead of us that we did not notice what a great  little spot the OFC is. As you may know, I've been to several flight schools and I have not been to a club or school quite like this. I hope if you have been to one, you would share it with me. The activity in here was refreshing and I wonder if places like this are just the boost that general aviation needs?

The first thing I noticed was how many people were heading in and out. The individuals behind the counter were very helpful and I saw at least two female pilots working there. Across from the counter next to the door heading to the ramp are a few computer work stations that were helpful in double checking the weather before we departed. The stairs near that led to the bathrooms and a large room full of tables, chairs and a large white board. It is the perfect classroom for ground school or safety seminars. Several people were in there conversing and sharing hangar stories.

On the other half of the building was the OFC Cafe and Lounge. The cafe served very flavorful Asian food and became my first international $100 hamburger. There was plenty of seating inside and many people were enjoying meals of their own. I chose to sit outside at one of the two picnic tables since I had Turbo. Bob wasn't too hungry so attended to paying the bill and talking with the mechanic. Just a heads up, the cafe is cash only, luckily they were OK taking US bills.

While I was eating I saw at least 3 or 4 training flights come in and few others head out. Many smiled or nodded my way. The whole area was super friendly and I got the impression that everyone wanted to be there and enjoyed being there. As I hooked Turbo up on a fence and started packing up the plane, a gentleman stopped me to ask me about it. We ended up talking for quite awhile and it turns out he had flown with the club to DC a time or to in the pre 9-11 days. What I noticed, was that everyone there assumed I was a pilot. They never asked or never went to Bob first to ask him a question when I was around. I'm not sure if it is something they actively work on at the OFC or if that was just the culture of the area, but it was so refreshing!

The flying club website boasts that they have trained thousands of pilots over the eight decades since being founded. In addition, the have members that have been enrolled for 65 years! They have teamed up with college programs and host many social and movie nights. If I were in the area, I would have loved to learn to fly here and I am sure I would have stayed beyond my training. This is a place where you can come and grab a bite with fellow pilots on a rainy day or meet up after a stressful training session to watch a movie with other students.

I'm very happy that a return to Ottawa was such a smooth and good experience and I would recommend the club to anyone in the area, with the disclaimer that I did not fly any of their aircraft or work with their instructors. The only negative was that to us Americans, the gas was a bit of a sticker shock! However, for such a large airport the $15/night ramp fee seemed reasonable. 

Have you been involved with a flight school or flying club that gave you a similar experience?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Maryland-New York-Canada-Michigan Adventure

Turbo at the Ottawa Flying Club
I previously wrote about a surprise trip to Canada as an anniversary gift from Bob and how we were later trapped due to airplane problems and had to take the 8 1/2 hour drive home. If you need to catch up on that little adventure, you can read parts 1 and 2. This Thursday we started on the road with our puppy, Turbo, to pick up the repaired plane.

Thursday night after work we drove four hours to Binghamton, NY and stayed in a pet friendly Double Tree ($25 fee). It was Turbo's first time in a hotel as well as in an elevator. He enjoyed both! He was like a toddler as he jumped between the two queen beds in our room and explored every corner of our room.

The next morning, we completed the four and half hours to take us over the border and into Canada. When bringing a dog either way across the border, you must provide a rabies certificate. I also had a letter of health from the vet just to be safe. In addition, many websites note that what dog food you bring across the border would be scrutinized. However, we never had an issue as did many friends when I asked them about this.

The drive to Canada was pretty uneventful, I drove first while Bob slept and Turbo was in the back chewing up our car rental agreement. This would later play an important role after Bob had thrown up the shredded contract at a gas station. I was curled up in the backseat sleeping with Turbo when I felt the car stop, I peeked out the window and sure enough, we were being pulled over and the cop wanted a copy of that agreement. Luckily, we looked like innocent speeders and made it over the border and to Ottawa International Airport (YOW) without any further delays.

Lake St. Clair
The airplane was fixed on time and waiting for us at the Ottawa Flying Club. It turns out it had a lose gland nut, so was not a very extensive repair. The Ottawa Flying Club was such a cool place that it deserves it's own special blog post that will debut tomorrow. Want to learn more about this funky nut? Bob will guest post within the week with all you need to know gland nuts on your landing gear! Ah the anticipation!

After some lunch and packing up, we called flight service to set up our VFR flight plan. What's neat about flight service in Canada is that they give you a squawk code right then and there over the phone. The next phone call was to customs at Oakland County International Airport (PTK). The landing time your provide them must be within 15 minutes of your actual arrival. This can be tricky and we ended up calling FSS to update our time (1/2 hour later) en route. Airports of entry, you do not have to call ahead. But landing rights airports, like PTK require a phone call because customs officers are not available at all hours.

The flight from YOW to PTK was very smooth with clear skies and a very bright sun. Our route caused us to ask the ultimate question: Where would we land in the event of an engine failure? For much of the trip, there was simply just acres upon acres of swamp land and lakes below us. The rest of the trip nicked the corner of Lake St. Clair which with the sun looked like we could have been flying somewhere tropical. 

Upon landing, we were instructed to taxi onto the blue dot in front of the terminal and wait for customs. An officer came out within just a few minutes to check our passports, Turbo's paperwork (he got some spoiling and some petting) and to walk around the plane with a radiation detector. Soon after we were taxiing into our usual FBO Royal Air and were picked up just in time by my mother and grandfather to meet a lot of family for dinner at my aunt's.

The weekend was filled with:

1. Visiting with friends
2. Laying on the lake
On the lake! Lilly pads aren't very tasty! 
3. Lots and lots of eating
4. Shopping (I got us a super cute airplane lawn ornament at The Angel the Witch and the Old Crow and Bob so graciously bought me a beautiful necklace with a black pearl at Simply Marcella.
5. The need for more sleep

Before we knew it, it was Sunday and time to head home. We loaded up some leftovers, our newly bought loot and the pup. In and out of clouds and rain in MI and OH, the weather later opened up to We made one stop along the way at Grove City airport in PA for a potty break. Unfortunately, the FBO was closed. So, hopefully they are not cameras along the building behind those bushes...On another note, it seemed to be a very active airport for skydiving which was fun to watch.

In just two and a half hours, we landed back in Frederick ready for...more eating!