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/742269

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Page 14 of 35

AVIATION FOR Girls 2015 13 I completed all of my previous fight training at the Uni- versity of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where I also earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Human Factors. Illinois is noticeably devoid of any type of terrain other than large acres of fat farm felds, whereas the area west of Den- ver has the most complex geographic terrain in the country. I was excited for the challenge that lay ahead, and very glad to have such high-quality training before going solo through this region. My mentor pilot was Al Rice, who serves as the chief pilot of single-engine pilot training for Cessna. Mountain Flying Al and I went to Colorado to spend a few days fying in and around some of the highest mountain peaks the Rockies have to offer. I got to learn frsthand about the techniques involved in mountain fying as well as understand the differences and diffculties in fying in uneven terrain. On our frst full day of fying, we got stuck in Buena Vis- ta, Colorado, which was supposed to be just a fuel stop, but weather rolled in while we were on the ground. It's a very enlightening experience to see just how quickly weath- er can change in the mountains. In a matter of minutes, the winds picked up to a very strong crosswind and clouds moved in to obscure the mountaintops. Training included fying in a few well-known areas such as Salida, Leadville, and Vail, Colorado. My frst event of the summer was in Aurora, Oregon, just south of Portland. It was a weekend air show and warbird fy- in, which was right up my alley. I grew up around air shows— my dad started taking me to them when I could barely walk. As I got older, he would bring me with him to the annual EAA air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I haven't missed an Oshkosh since. I love the atmosphere that surrounds an air show. This air show was a great frst experience on the road, and I was able to give some discovery fights to people who were consid- ering getting involved in fight training. The discovery fights were one of my favorite parts of the program, and also a fo- cal point of our job as interns. At each airport or event that I was involved in, I'd be able to give people discovery fights in my airplane. Whether it was their frst fight, or just their frst fight in a very long time, it was amazing to watch everyone's delighted reactions to the fights. I'm also a CFI, and since I If you want to make more pilot friends, just go hang out at an airport for a day! I spent the whole summer at airports and met many friendly faces and heard great stories. Before attempting to fy in mountainous terrain, some mountain training is ver y benefcial—both ground and fight training help make you a safe pilot. Paying attention during instrument ground school was worthwhile— I was able to use skills that I'd only read about before this experience. Julia with award-winning aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff

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