Aviation for Girls

2017

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/867269

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F or as long as I can remember I have wanted to fly. If anyone ever asked me what my super- power would be if I could have one, I would say flying. Every time. When my family and I would go on vacations that required a flight, I would look forward to flying there, just about as much as the destination itself. Something about lifting off of the ground and seeing the world become smaller and smaller below me gave me a sense of excitement and wonder. So when I learned that I could make my dream come true and learn to fly, I just had to try it. With no previous aviation background, my parents let me take an intro flight in my hometown of Cor- vallis, Oregon, on my 16th birthday. The moment I took control of the airplane and felt it respond to my movements, I realized I was truly flying. In one sense it was all the same, everything was where it was supposed to be, and I could pick out my house and school, but it was also very differ- ent. Aside from the roar of the Cessna 172's engine and my instructor's voice in my ear, the world was quieter and more distant than I had ever known it to be. After landing back at the airport, I decided to sign up for another flight and officially start my lessons. Just a few months later, I was soloing. My first solo was a very big deal for me. I gained a lot of confidence in myself when I landed for the third time and taxied back to pick up my instructor. In my life, I have struggled with self-confidence, but after that first solo and other future solos it gave me a huge confidence boost and the realization that if I can takeoff, fly, and land a plane by myself then I can do just about anything. If I was ever struggling in school for any reason, all I had to do was think back to my first solo and I would get that surge of confidence and feel ready to face any challenges. It was also entertaining to tell people that I soloed in a plane and to see the disbelief on their faces when they realized I wasn't joking. Though flying is a lot of fun, it does take a lot of dedication and hard work to stay on the path to achieving your certificate and ratings. I am about halfway to achieving my private pilot certificate by working on cross-country and night flying. It has been hard trying to balance my endless schoolwork with the ground and flight lessons. It seems over- whelming at times, but once I push through it I know it will all be worth it. As soon as I achieve my private, I am looking forward to flying above the beautiful Oregon coast and the Cascade Mountains with my friends. I can't wait to share my experiences and show them what I've seen and felt for the past year. Not many people share the same hobby as me, and other than meeting with my local Ninety-Nines group once a month, it can be difficult to talk to people who aren't familiar with the flying experience. But my hope is that once I expose them to flying, they will have a better understanding of where I am coming from and share my excitement. I don't know if I will pursue aviation as a career or as a hobby, but I know I want to continue flying for the rest of my life. Now that I have a taste of the aviation world and the joys and experiences that come with it, I don't want to give it up. Ruth McCullough, WAI 72306, enters her senior year in high school this fall and plans to continue her flight training. by Ruth McCullough What's Your Superpower? YOUR CORNER 2 0 17 32

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