Aviation for Girls

2015

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/742269

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12 AVIATION FOR Girls 2015 When I frst heard about this opportunity, I couldn't believe how great it sounded! I knew right then that I wanted to be a part of this awesome aviation experience and I am happy to say, I was not disappointed. The application process included submitting a one-minute video, as well as a few social media writing examples. On a cold and blustery Saturday in December 2013, I went to my lo- cal airport and flmed my video with the help of family and friends in an indoor hangar—courtesy of a University of Illi- nois fying colleague. After submitting my application, I re- member being nervous while waiting to hear back from Cess- na. A phone interview then led to an in-person interview in Wichita, Kansas, at Textron Aviation headquarters. While in Wichita the other 12 candidates and I had the opportunity to participate in a panel interview as well as a test fight to de- termine if we would be suitable for the Discover Flying Chal- lenge team. The process was rigorous, a bit stressful, and the competition was intense, but completely worthwhile. When I got the news that I had been selected for the team, I was so excited for the grand adventure that lay ahead that I couldn't wait to get started! Taking Flight We arrived in Kansas in late May 2014, eager for the summer to begin. We spent a few weeks completing training, which covered everything from an overview of the company to spe- cifc fight training. In addition to the formal training, the oth- er Discover Flying members and I got a chance to get to know each other and had a great time melding into the 2014 team. There were fve other pilots as well as a dispatcher and sched- uler that made up our team. "Meeting" each of our airplanes for the first time was a unique experience—we'd be spending more time with those planes than anything or anyone else for the whole summer. My new Skyhawk was N5521Q, and only had 5.9 hours on the Hobbs when I frst got in. Everything was new and pristine, and even the leather seats gave off a "new airplane smell"! I had never been in an airplane so new, and I couldn't believe that this would be my airplane for the summer. After our time of training in Kansas, we had our official team launch and everyone was off to their own regions of the country. We had two pilots on the West Coast, two on the East Coast, and two in the Midwest. I was one of the West Coast pilots, which meant that launch day was the start of moun- tain training, something totally new and different for me. Proper prefight planning is vital to a safe fight—fying in different terrain and weather ever y day was challenging, and I needed to be thorough to be safe. Documenting such a unique experience is defnitely worthwhile—I took tons of pictures and kept a journal along the way so I could relive my adventures at any time. I value those memories so much. Life Lessons Some of the most important things I learned during my internship:

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