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.

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I N O U R O W N W O R D S 32 AVIATION FOR Girls 2015 out of my grasp. None- t heless, I took a seem- ingly impossible dream and turned it into a real- ity when I proudly earned my private pilot certifcate at age 17. I find it difficult to pin- point exactly how my in- terest in aviation initiated. Starting at a young age, I caught myself a lways gazing upward at the air- planes that soared over- head. Countless aspects of aviation were (and still are) extremely exhilarat- ing in my eyes, and I yearned to learn more. However, no mem- ber of my immediate or extended family had a history within aviation. It was tough to quench my thirst for fying, which con- tinuously grew as time carried on. I met aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker when I was 8 years old, and his radiating passion and enthusiasm for fying ignited a newfound love for aviation deep within me. I was inspired. I wanted to learn how to fy. In July 2012, while volunteering at the annual EAA Gath- ering of Eagles fundraiser, two avid Young Eagles program supporters graciously offered me a sponsorship to take fight lessons with the end goal of earning my private pilot certifcate. I had a ferce determination to successfully reach my new and exciting goal, and pursue my dream. The following month, I took my frst Young Eagles fight. I was at a loss for words when my feet left the ground and went soaring thou- sands of feet (it seemed at the time) into the air. It was at that moment that I realized how truly hooked I was on flying. I couldn't seem to get enough of it. Finally, in April 2013, at 15 years old, I took my frst fight lesson. As many pilots would agree, learning to fy defnitely pos- es obstacles and challenges. For me, the frst obstacle was needing my parents to drive me to my first few flight les- sons because I didn't have a driver's license yet. In addition, I had to learn how to jug- gle fight lessons, school, clubs, sports, work, fam- i ly, a nd f r iends. There we r e m a ny i n s t a n c e s where I had to give up t i me w it h my f r ie nd s a nd f a m i l y to go to a f light lesson, study for an important test, or pre- pare for a cross-country flight. I spent countless hours studying to ensure I knew the material in- side and out and would become the safest pilot I could be. A lt hou g h I may have ex per ienced some t u rbu lence throughout my flight training (literally and figuratively), support from family, friends, and my fight instructor and mentor (thank you John D. and Elissa) pushed me to contin- ue to strive for my goal. I like to think that I defied all odds when I became the youngest female private pilot in the state of Wisconsin. When I received my pilot certificate, I earned more than just my wings; I gained more confdence and self-belief than I ever had before I started fying. Not only that, but thanks to my fying accomplishments, I now have the mindset that I can accomplish anything I wish to. As I enter my freshman year at the University of Wiscon- sin-Madison, I know that I will excel as I continue with my fight lessons, as well as within the classroom. I hope to serve as an inspiration not only to young girls, but also to people of all ages who have a dream that they yearn to achieve. The sky is not the limit. (Trust me, I've been there!) Always re- member to soar to new heights, take on the unimaginable, and dare to dream! ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adi Fenrich, WAI 55309, is a private pilot and past winner of the Women in Aviation-Oshkosh Chapter Spirit of Flight scholarship. A melia Earhart once said, "Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do and will not do." I believe that this powerful quote helps to illustrate my recent jour- ney and accomplishments in aviation. Growing up in a small town and in a family with- out a background in aviation, the thought of one day fying an airplane seemed distant and DETERMINED TO SUCCEED I N O U R O W N W O R D S A D I F E N R I C H BONNIE KRATZ

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