Friday's Flyer: meet Gail, unrelenting introverted nerd, aerobatic pilot, and Centennial of Women Pilots award winner
Gail discovered flying at the age of 10 and loved it. However, a lack of female role model combined with terrible eyesight and a long learning curve for psycho-motor skills kept away from pursuing her interest.
But, during a party, she met a female pilot and her husband-to-be who also became her instructor. That was 1993. A few years later, she was a pilot herself and the owner of a succession of cool airplanes.
In March 2010, now a role model for women interested in flying, she took passengers flying in freezing cold temperatures to celebrate the Centennial of Women Pilots.
On March 8 1910, Raymonde de Laroche of France became the first woman to earn a pilot license worldwide. In September of the same year, Bessica Medlar Raiche, a Wisconsin native, became the first woman to solo an airplane on the American continent.
One hundred year later, to celebrate the achievements of these trailblazing women, pilots introduced 1647 girls and women to the joys of flying in 29 countries on 4 continents. They conducted the flights in balloons, gliders, ultralights, airplanes and helicopters.
Friday's Flyer: meet Amanda, paper plane designer, helicopter tour pilot, and Centennial of Women Pilots participant
Amanda Sargent was only 2 years old when she took her first flight in the back of the Piper Tri-Pacer her father had recently bought. The big smile that flying put on her face never faded until her father sold the plane. She knew then that she had to do whatever it took to fly again.
Nothing could stop her... Well, life has funny ways to test resolve. Her training was touch and go. She endured three successive flight school closures. But nothing could keep her away from her end goal. Today, she is a helicopter tour pilot and a helicopter flight instructor in Seattle.