Aviation for Girls


Aviation for Girls is a special annual member publication of Women in Aviation International for Girls in Aviation Day. Articles feature young girls living their aviation dreams, career ideas, and education resources.

Issue link: https://afgdigital.epubxp.com/i/1018241

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Page 6 of 39

Build A Plane has helped us develop bonds be- tween mentors, like my own: Janet Davidson, WAI 17002. Janet has made connections for me, which led me to find my AOPA award-winning flight instructor, Brenda Tibbs, WAI 75122. Now another member of the club, Sofia Hollowell, and I have been encouraged to take flying lessons. Thanks to the exposure of the Build A Plane club, I found an opportunity at the London-based Royal Aeronau- tical Society to be recognized as the 2017 Young Aviator of the Year. Now, almost two years later, the Piper Pacer 10 is ready to fly and a group of students have been granted a future pathway to their future. Besides this project being inspiring for the various young women in the club, it facilitated other young men in the club with aspirations in aeronautics and engineering. One such example is Nic Delgado, who has loved planes since his childhood and takes a special interest in learning more about World War II planes. He says, "The chance to work on this plane was unforgettable." Build A Plane club was a wonderful experience to get us connected to the aviation community. During the course of the project, we have attained practical knowledge and connections, as well as in- spiration that we can take into the future. Many of us want to pursue engineering, and Build A Plane has definitely given us the experience and drive to continue along this path as the club is aimed to be supportive toward everyone. I know that there are so many young people, especially girls like me, who would love to be granted the opportunity that I've had, to have the support that I've been given, and to be inspired to continue this passion into the future. I hope that more students will be given an opportunity like this or for someone to reach out and introduce a young person to this wonderful aviation community. Be- cause without the help and support of this aviation community I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today. * Mary Feik was inducted into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1994 and recognized as a professional restorer of antique and classic aircraft. She worked at the National Air and Space Museum's Paul E. Garber Restoration Facility, and overhauled her first auto engine when she was 13 years old. Mary turned to airplane engines at 18 and taught avia- tion mechanics for the U.S. Army Air Corps. During World War II, Mary became an expert on several fighter planes, and is credited with becoming the first female engineer in research and development for the Air Technical Service Command. She flew more than 5,000 hours as a B-29 flight engineer, engineering observer, and pilot in fighter, attack, bomber, cargo, and training aircraft. You can read more about Mary and learn about more female trailblazers at WAI's Pioneer Hall of Fame at www.WAI.org/pioneers. 5

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