Sunday, September 30, 2012

Proof that women still face discrimination

Women during World War II served in all branches of the Armed Forces. And did it well. But for most of them, once the war was over, they were told, "Thanks. You can return to your kitchens now. That job needs to go to a man now."

Almost 60 years later, despite great strides that women have made, discrimination is still prevalent.

Some major university actually did a study recently - who is more attractive, Democrat women or Republican women?

Then there's this:
From CosmicLog:  Turn up the girl power in science

It's not exactly surprising that males are perceived as more competent in science than females — but researchers at Yale University were surprised to find that even professional scientists showed evidence of such bias. Now the big question is what to do about it.
"Whenever I give a talk that mentions past findings of implicit gender bias in hiring, inevitably a scientist will say that can’t happen in our labs because we are trained to be objective," microbiologist Jo Handelsman, lead author of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said in a Yale news release. "I had hoped that they were right."

Nope.

Handelsman and her colleagues asked 127 science faculty members from six institutions to review an application from a senior undergraduate student looking for a job as a lab manager. The faculty members were asked to judge how competent the applicant was, how much the student should be paid, and whether they'd be willing to mentor the student.

Each researcher looked at the same application — but in some cases the applicant was given a male name (John), and in the other cases a female name was assigned (Jennifer), all on a random basis. When the results were analyzed, it turned out that the sight-unseen male applicant was rated more competent than the female. The mean starting salary offer was $30,238.10 for John as opposed to $26,507.94 for Jennifer. Faculty members were more willing to mentor John than Jennifer.

The data showed a disparity whether the demographic category in question was male or female, young or old, tenured or untenured. "The bias appears pervasive among faculty and is not limited to a certain demographic subgroup," Handelsman and her colleagues wrote.

The researchers emphasized that they weren't suggesting the biases were intentional or stemmed from a conscious desire to hold women back. In fact, they found that the faculty members tended to like Jennifer more than John. That sentiment was generally voiced by faculty women as well as faculty men. It's just that the warm feelings for Jennifer "did not translate into positive perceptions of her composite confidence or material outcomes," according to the PNAS paper.

So what is to be done? "Our results suggest that academic policies and mentoring interventions targeting undergraduate advisers could contribute to reducing the gender disparity," the researchers wrote.

The findings suggest that it's not enough to get young women interested in careers in science, technology, education and math, a.k.a. STEM. There needs to be a conscious follow-through by the folks who do the hiring and mentoring. You can read through the whole study at the PNAS website.

Maybe it shouldn't be so surprising to find out that scientists can be vulnerable to subtle biases, just like other people. Even journalists. Last month, for example, Lund University researchers Daniel Conley and Johanna Stadmark found that far fewer women than men were being invited to write commentaries for the journals Science and Nature.

Conley and Stadmark acknowledged that men tend to outnumber women in scientific fields, particularly at the higher levels, so there's something of a selection effect at work. But they said it was "still fair to conclude that fewer women than men are offered the career boost of invitation-only authorship in each of the two leading science journals." They called on the editors to "extend gender parity for commissioned writers."

Over time, raising the visibility of women scientists (and raising their salaries) will help draw more girls into research and science education. At least that's the idea. Here are a few more efforts that put girl power to work on the science world's gender issues:

'Girl Thing' reloaded: Remember the European Commission program that stirred up a controversy by putting out a glammed-up video about STEM careers for women? Now the EC's "Science: It's a Girl Thing" program is sponsoring a contest for videographers who think they can do better. On the Scientific American website, "Science Goddess" Joanne Manaster explains how to enter. The winning videos will be shown in November at the European Gender Summit at the European Parliament in Brussels. Three winners will each receive a cash prize of €1,500 ($1,930).

Think locally: It's worth looking for organizations that are bringing girl power to STEM on the community level. The best example is Sally Ride Science, which thinks globally and acts locally when it comes to getting girls involved in scientific pursuits. The organization, founded by the late space icon Sally Ride, presents a series of science festivals for girls in grades 5 through 8. The next one is coming up Oct. 27 at Rice University in Houston, with astronaut Wendy Lawrence as the featured speaker. Other organizations involved in girl-power science include Girlstart in Austin, Texas; and Science Club for Girls in the Boston area.

Women chemists in the spotlight: The Chemical Heritage Foundation's video series pays tribute to seven women who have made their mark in chemistry — including Stephanie Kwolek, the inventor of bulletproof Kevlar fiber; Paula Hammond, a pioneer in nanotechnology for drug delivery; and Nancy Chang, a successful biotech entrepreneur.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ninety-Nines’ museum, headquarters promote women in aviation

From News OK:  Ninety-Nines’ museum, headquarters promote women in aviation history

In 1929, 86 women pilots met to form an organization that wasn’t named until two years later, when 99 female pilots met again.
The Ninety-Nines were born. The women, including famed pilot Amelia Earhart, banded together to promote women in the aviation industry.
photo - A copy of Amelia Earhart’s pilot’s certificate is displayed at the Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots in Oklahoma City.  PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN archives
A copy of Amelia Earhart’s pilot’s certificate is displayed at the Ninety-Nines Museum of Women Pilots in Oklahoma City. PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OKLAHOMAN archives

Multimedia

Today, the Ninety-Nines Inc. International Organization of Women Pilots has members worldwide with chapters scattered around the globe and one in cyberspace.
Its mission is to promote advancement of aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support while honoring their unique history and sharing their passion for flight.
The group’s international headquarters is in a two-story building near Will Rogers World Airport. Why here? Oklahoma City is centrally located.
The headquarters itself takes up most of the bottom floor, with several exhibits scattered around, showing what the Ninety-Nines are about.
The second floor houses the 99s Museum of Women Pilots. It is filled with mementos from aviation history, from the first female pilot, Harriet Quimby, who got her license to fly in 1911, to displays of women in the American space program.
Both floors have an afternoon’s worth of exhibits that not only inform, but enchant.
Earhart is well represented here, with pride of place given to a scarf she often wore. There is no explanation why it wasn’t around her neck when she left on that final flight 75 years ago. Her family donated it to the Ninety-Nines museum.
Its aura is enhanced when you know that astronaut Marine Lt. Col. Randy Bresnik took it up on the space shuttle Atlantis on STS-129 in November 2009. Bresnik is the grandson of Earhart’s personal photographer, Albert Bresnick.
Albert Bresnik wanted to go on Earhart’s final flight, but he was denied a seat because she needed the space and weight for fuel.
A glassed display case has her scarf, photos of both Albert and Randy Bresnik — Albert with Earhart and Randy in his spacesuit — a mission patch, and a photo of Earhart and the scarf floating by the porthole of the shuttle, clearly in space.
The museum also gives visitors a look at Earhart’s pilot’s license. The one displayed now is a copy. The real one is on display at the Smithsonian.
Hilary Swank autographed a poster from her 2009 movie about Earhart’s life — “Amelia” — and it’s on display too.
The older displays show just how far flight fashion has come. Flight suits from the early days are there, some obviously made for men, but the museum includes a getup that coverts from a skirt to a shirt and back again so ladies are always property clothed when not in the cockpit. The design is patented.
Mathilde Moisant, the second woman to get her pilot’s license, wrote about women’s flying gear, saying, “A veil has no place in aviation,” a somewhat scandalous statement at the time.
Also on display are the uniforms assigned to members of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs), women who ferried planes around the world during World War II. They flew damaged ones from battlefields to air bases for repair. They were given leather jackets and pants and a regular flight suit. One also can see uniforms worn by British women who served the same function for the Royal Air Force. Nearby is a piece of a current fighter jet, flown by fighter pilot Kim Campbell. It’s full of real bullet holes from when she was shot at over Baghdad, Iraq. She flew that plane to safety herself and donated a damaged piece of the fuselage to the museum.
Did you know at one time two women flew in the Air Force’s Thunderbird’s show flight team? There’s one of their uniforms on display.
The first all-women flight crew of a commercial 747 aircraft have a uniform on display and information on the women who were in the cockpit. One of those pilots, Valerie Walker, is the daughter of Clint Walker, famous actor and member of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. She came to Oklahoma with her father to visit both museums when he was inducted into the hall in 2004.
Interactive displays give the history of women and airplanes, and there is a flight simulator so visitors can try their skills at taking off, flying and landing a plane.
On the way out, visitors can stop by the small gift shop for a souvenir.
The Ninety-Nines local chapters hold educational programs, fear-of-flying clinics for airline passengers and safety programs. They recently became a sponsor for a Girl Scout of America aviation merit badge.
Members work with the National Intercollegiate Flying Association student flying competitions. The organization gives full and partial scholarships for many types of training.
The Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships are given to qualified members for fully funded advanced flight training, jet type ratings and technical training.
The group also gives research scholarship grants and new pilot awards.
Chapters raise money with flight races, including the upcoming Okie Derby set for Saturday at Wiley Post Airport. This race, the nation’s longest running proficiency air race, is not a speed race but one that judges a pilot’s ability to judge time and fuel usage on a predesignated fight path within about 200 miles of Wiley Post. Winners receive trophies, and proceeds are used for “Wings of the Future” scholarship programs.

Friday, September 28, 2012

'She's A WOW' Exhibition At Pritzker Military Library Celebrates Women In Uniform

Go to the original link to see the photos

From HuffPost:  'She's A WOW' Exhibition At Pritzker Military Library Celebrates Women In Uniform

While the men in uniform may have been the stars of the Allied victory in World War II, their female compatriots deserve some credit for their role, too.
This fall, the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago, a repository of more than 65,000 materials related to chronicling the experiences of America's Citizen Soldiers, turns the focus to the women in uniform who fought for America in the second world war.
Located in the historic Monroe Building between Millennium Park and the Art Institute in the Loop, the Pritzker Military Library will debut a new exhibit this week dedicated to the women of the war called "She's a WOW: Women’s Service Organizations in World War II."
Curated by librarians and collections staff, the exhibition will run from Sept. 13, 2012 through April 2013, and includes prints, recruiting posters, photos and other media sharing the stories of women who served their country. Paired with the vintage materials are first-person accounts, including an audio tour featuring the voices of the women themselves, telling their own stories.
“Exploring and making public the duties and responsibilities women took on during the war is important on two fronts,” Kenneth Clarke, Pritzker Military Library President and CEO, said in a release announcing the exhibition. “It’s a crucial part of the history of the war that needs to be told.”


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ninety Nines return to Warwick

From the Warwick Advertise Sept 11, 2012:  Ninety Nines return to Warwick




Photo by Roger Gavan Members of the North Jersey Chapter of the ìNinety Nines,î an International organization of women pilots, pose with Warwick Municipal Airport Manager Dave MacMillan.

WARWICK — This past year Sue Jones, Bev Weintraub and Lorna Mack completed the women pilots’ 2012 Air Race Classic, which, crossing 10 states, began in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and finished at Batavia, Ohio.
The three are members of the North New Jersey Chapter of the “Ninety-Nines” who returned to Warwick Municipal Airport for their annual picnic and meeting on Saturday, Sept. 8.
However, the severe weather forecast that day even included tornado warnings so the ladies, all of whom are licensed pilots but live nearby, did leave their airplanes at home.
Holding the event at Warwick Airport has become a tradition.
“We love it here,” said Chapter Chair Rosanne Isom. “And we always receive a wonderful welcome.”
The “Ninety-Nines,” has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the “Ninety Nines” in 1929.
The organization, named after the number of original charter members, is an international non-profit association of licensed professional and private women pilots.
Full membership requires that the applicant be licensed as a fixed wing, helicopter, balloon or glider pilot. And many of the 65 members of the North New Jersey Chapter also have instrument, commercial and other advanced ratings. Some have served as airline pilots or were even former members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).
The annual picnic in September is the Chapter’s official kick-off for the year’s activities.
The North New Jersey Chapter of the “Ninety-Nines” continues to offer scholarships for flight training, which are open to any male or female student pilot with an earnest desire to further aviation achievements.
For information contact the Ninety Nines at: northjersey99s@hotmail.com.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Danger in air again at Reno National Air Races

From Huff Post Politics Sept 11, 2012: Danger in air again at Reno National Air Races

RENO, Nev. — The annual air race in Nevada's Valley of Speed has a new name. Fans returning to see vintage World War II fighter planes streak across the sky will sit farther away. And a redesigned course poses less risk as pilots make the final turn toward the finish line.
But for all the changes and new safety measures at the air race a year after a plane took a deadly plunge into spectators, the element of danger remains. Pilots will still be flying souped-up muscle planes wingtip to wingtip, sometimes exceeding 500 mph.
"We never thought what happened last year would happen, but we know it's not knitting," said Marilyn Dash, a biplane pilot from the San Francisco Bay Area who's the only woman in this year's competition. "It's not bowling.
"Nobody ever was killed bowling, were they?"
Organizers for the 49th annual National Championship Air Races adopted a half dozen changes recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board following the crash last September that killed 11 people, including pilot Jimmy Leeward, and injured more than 70 others.
A reminder of the danger came Tuesday afternoon during qualifying heats for the fastest planes when the pilot of a vintage Hawker Sea Fury was forced to make a rough, emergency landing but escaped unhurt.
Among the differences from last year, the course now is more than 1,000 feet from the grandstand, instead of 850, fuel trucks set away from the landing strip and the final turn of the race is less sharp.
Some of the changes are more obvious than others, including the impact crater on the edge of the tarmac that has been paved over with asphalt and the official name change to the TravelNevada.com National Championship Air Races and Air Show presented by Breitling.
The new name is the result of a one-time, $600,000 sponsorship the state tourism commission extended as a necessary component to keeping the event alive in the face of soaring insurance premiums.
Race organizers hope the most significant changes will be behind the scenes, in training classes intended to better prepare pilots for intense gravitational pull and wake turbulence, and along pit row where mechanics will be subject to a new inspection process that requires follow-up confirmation that ordered repairs actually get done – a possible contributor to Leeward's demise.
"It really seems about the same," Eric Zine, a pilot from Van Nuys, Calif. "There's increased focus on safety. But we're doing stuff people don't do. It's not normal to try to make a plane go faster than it's designed to go."
The Reno Air Racing Association also established a new position of safety czar with the authority to shut down the competition immediately if any concerns arise.
NTSB chairwoman Deborah Hersman commended race organizers for steps taken to place even more emphasis on making the event safe for competitors and spectators alike.
"We know everybody is going to be paying close attention to the races this year and that is what everyone wants – for additional scrutiny to occur," she said.
Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini plan to help lead an opening ceremony on Wednesday, the final day of qualifying heats before the six classes of championships begin Thursday and run through Sunday.
"The last year has been a true test to our organization, our fans, both the northern Nevada and aviation communities," said Mike Houghton, president and CEO of the Reno Air Racing Association who helped persuade the Nevada Commission on Tourism to give $600,000 for the one-time title sponsorship.
"We will truly never forget the incredible display of courage that was shown in a moment of tragedy last year by the first responders, victims and fans," he said. "It really has been inspiring."
Advance ticket sales are a bit off but Houghton said he's heard from a number of people making last-minute plans to attend and expects swift walk-up sales, with enthusiasm of many loyal aviation buffs stronger than ever.
Dr. Anne Courtney, an emergency room specialist from Seattle who was at the races last year and helped treat the wounded, didn't think twice about returning.
"We are going to be sitting there in our same box seats we've been in now for the last 20 years. It's kind of like a big reunion. I have no apprehension whatsoever," she said.
Courtney was in her usual seat on the edge of the tarmac about 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 16 when Leeward's P-51 Mustang, the "Galloping Ghost," surged into the air, then turned over and slammed nose first into the box seats on the edge of the grandstand.
"At one point, the plane came down and it looked like it was going to hit us but I think the wind took it a little further. When I made sure everyone in my box was ok, I went down to help – to do what I'm trained to do."
Courtney said one of the couples in their box decided not to return this year.
"The whole memory is just too vivid for him. His dad had died in a plane crash when he was young," she said. "But everybody else I talk to is going back."
Mark Daniels, a former Army helicopter mechanic and air traffic controller, is one the most vocal critics of what he says are continuing safety deficiencies at the air races.
Among other things, he thinks the pilots in the fastest planes should be required to wear anti-gravity suits like they do in the military to keep them from blacking out like Leeward did. He also thinks it would be safest to have the grandstand in the infield because the centrifugal force of planes sends them toward the crowd when they lose control.
Daniels has been banned from the grounds and believes it is because of the criticism – something he's suing over in federal court. Houghton said the ban is based on past threats Daniels has made to him and others and has nothing to do with the criticism.
Either way, Daniels said he understands why last year's tragedy hasn't dampened many fans' fascination with the only event of its kind in the world.
"They don't think it could happen again – that lightning could strike twice," Daniels said. "And they love air racing. It's the air racing bug. When it bites you, there is no quitting it."
A nerve-racking moment for some came Tuesday during qualifying for the same unlimited class Leeward flew in when Matt Jackson of Van Nuys, Calif., radioed a "May Day" after ground crews spotted his landing gear stuck down in flight.
Fire trucks and emergency crews manned a runway on the far side of the course away from the grandstand as Jackson brought his World War II-era fighter named "Furias" down slowly.
But the right gear collapsed, the plane slid off the runway and spun in the sagebrush, kicking up dust. Jackson walked away from the accident.
"He's fine. He just wrecked the paint job," race spokeswoman Valerie Miller-Moore said.
Crews brought in a crane to remove the plane as the qualifying heat resumed in the Unlimited class where two-time national champion Steve Hinton Jr. posted the top speed earlier in the day at 493 mph.


 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Upper Peninsula Michigan woman recalls being among the first female Air Force pilots

From  Detroit Free Press:  Upper Peninsula Michigan woman recalls being among the first female Air Force pilots

Left: Livingston at 25, during training.
Left: Livingston at 25, during training. / Family photo
The flight suits didn't fit. Colleagues' wives were jealous. An eighth of an inch almost cost her a spot in the program.
But Mary Livingston of Manistique went on to become a member of the first coed graduating class of Air Force pilots. Those 10 women flew into U.S. history 35 years ago this month.
Then, she was a 25-year-old engineer, who was first taught to fly by a fellow Yooper when she was 16. Today, she's a 60-year-old retired lieutenant colonel, married to a fellow former Air Force engineer and pilot and the mother of a 22-year-old daughter.
"We knew we were part of the test group. We were blessed with the opportunity to fly for the Air Force and to provide a road map," Livingston said. "I wanted someone to look at me and what I had done and go, 'Now what? There's no problem with other women being pilots.' "
There were bumps during takeoff -- and a long way to go before any branch of the military allowed women into combat. Those 10 women knew their options were limited to flying tankers that refuel planes in midair, flying cargo transports or working as flight instructors, teaching the very men who'd go into combat.
To get into the pilot program, Livingston had to pass a physical, an officer qualification test and a pilot navigation test, which was mostly spatial orientation. The women, after also undergoing psychological testing, joined 40 men in the class at the Williams Air Force Base in Arizona.
At 5-foot-4, Livingston barely made it; the aircraft, after all, could accommodate only a certain height range. The flight suits were too big for her, as they'd been designed for men. And the flight caps? An "absurd but amusing" tale, according to Livingston. Three different hats were tried, including a beret, before the women were allowed to wear the same hats as the men.
"In the '70s, there were lots of people who didn't think women could do a lot of anything. It was a time of transition," she said. "What is a female like who'd like to be a pilot? So every time you met someone, it was like being interviewed. It was always being onstage. That can be tough for some people."
Tougher still was the animosity Livingston said she and her cohorts faced not from teachers or males classmates, but from classmates' jealous wives and complete strangers.
"The young men and the instructors universally were professional and supportive. Were they exceptions? But you can always find exceptions. For the most part, I just considered the source. If they had difficulty with women as pilots, they probably had other difficulties in other aspects of their life," Livingston said. "Men were thrilled we weren't competing" for combat jobs.
After graduating, Livingston -- who was not from a military family; her last soldier relative was during the Civil War -- became a pilot instructor, and later an Air Force Academy economics instructor, detachment commander and recruiting squadron commander.
She retired in 1994 to raise her daughter -- exactly 50 years after the Women Airforce Service Pilots program was disbanded. Those World War II-era female pilots paved the way for women like Liviongston, flying transport and test planes, helping with training and delivering new planes.
The abolishment of the draft and the growing popularity of the women's rights movement is what finally drove the military to allow women in significant numbers and roles, according to Judith Stiehm, a professor of political science at Florida International University in Miami and an expert on women in the military.
Slowly, they began to expand their traditional roles of nurses and secretaries, but combat remained a no-no -- at least in the Army and Marines. The Navy, however, didn't want the women working on ships, so they let them fly. That forced the Air Force (which also had cited concerns about women's legs not being able to reach the controls in planes, while at the same time teaching short men in allied countries to fly) to let women join their above-the-cloud ranks. Now, decades later, Stiehm said, it's moot as many combat pilots are actually flying drones remotely.
"The Air Force dragged its feet at every opportunity," she said. "Women are a fascinating way of understanding military men. Women officers saw they were not going to get a star on their shoulder without going into combat."
Livingston's 1977 classmate Kathy LaSauce, remembers those days as less than halcyon -- everything from being shunned by male classmates and being forced to wear a Playboy patch on her flight suit to the helmet-accommodating short haircuts the women were ordered to get.
"Some of the guys were somewhat supportive, but most were a little jealous and a little annoyed. They didn't want us there," LaSauce, 62, of Alexandria, Va., recalled. "The mindset back then was, 'This is the Air Force Academy and women didn't belong.' Because we were able to get airplanes, that meant someone else wouldn't fly airplanes."
LaSauce, who retired in 1992 as a full colonel-select, went on to fly transport planes, delivering troops, humanitarian supplies and nuclear weapons.
"My flight jacket's in a museum out here at Dulles. I do realize what we did and how well we performed had an impact on women coming after us."
Livingston no longer has her own plane. She gave it up four years ago, when it got to be too expensive. Occasionally, when she's in a friend's plane, she'll take the controls for a bit. Neither her husband nor her daughter has ever flown with her.
She has her memories to keep her in the air: "It was fun. The Air Force was great. What a tremendous opportunity I was given."
Contact Zlati Meyer: 313-223-4439 or zmeyer@freepress.com

More Details: Mary Livingston

Age: 60
Hometown: Splits her time between Manistique in the U.P., and Centerville, Ind.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, MBA from Mississippi State University
Place in history: Member of the first class of women to complete Air Force pilot training, September 1977.
Air Force career highlights: Engineer, instructor pilot, Air Force Academy economics instructor, detachment commander, recruiting squadron commander. Retired in 1994 as a lieutenant colonel.
Hobbies: Mountain biking, kayaking and Bible study.
Family: Husband Robert Morrow, a former Air Force electrical engineer and pilot. Daughter Lynn, a senior at Huntington (Ind.) University.


 

(Maritime Pilot): Susan Clark, First Female Portland Harbor Pilot, Dies at 48

People who lead ships into harbors are called pilots - which is why this article arrived in my inbox, but I thought it was interesting so decided to share it:

Susan Clark, First Female Portland Harbor Pilot, Dies at 48

Susan Clark, who died after a short battle with cancer at 48, was a remarkable woman. In high school, she was valedictorian and class president. At Maine Maritime Academy, she was first in her class. She was the first female captain for Exxon and captained tankers for several years before returning ashore to attend Seton Hall and the University of Maine School of Law.  She practiced law for a time before deciding to return to working on the water. In 2001, Susan Clark become the first female harbor pilot in Portland, Maine. She was also the first female member of the Portland Marine Society, founded in 1796 by ship captains. She is survived by her her husband, Glenn Daukas, and their two sons, Louis and Rigel.  Thanks to Christina Sun for passing along the sad news.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Air Zoo celebrates Women Airforce Service Pilots with reunion, presentation

The event took place two Saturdays ago.

From Kalamazoo Gazette: Air Zoo celebrates Women Airforce Service Pilots with reunion, presentation

KALAMAZOO, MI --  Doris Nathan has fond memories of her time flying bombers in the 1940s.

"It was fun," the 95-year-old Kalamazoo woman said. 

Nathan was one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. She mostly co-piloted C-47s from 1943 to 1944, as an engineering test pilot who flew state-side. Nathan tested planes after they underwent repairs.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., Nathan will join the Air Zoo as it celebrates the Women Air Force Service Pilots with a special reunion and presentation.
The public is welcome to attend this program in honor of the first female pilots to fly U.S. military aircraft.  Guests will learn all about the WASP, their history, what roles they played in World War II.
Afterward, the Air Zoo will host a special Q-and-A session with members of the WASP, along with a meet and greet. Joining Nathan will be Mildred Jane Doyle, of Grand Rapids; Betty June Brown, of New Hampshire; Jean McCreery, of Oklahoma; and Thelma Miller, of Ohio.
Nathan now lives at Kalamazoo's Friendship Village off Drake Road and once a week can be found volunteering behind the cash register at the "Village" store.
One of Nathan's fondest memories is of a moment when she was flying through a cloud and experienced a large circular rainbow that remained at the front of the aircraft.
"I'll never forget that," Nathan said.
A 2010 article by NPR features another Kalamazoo pilot, one of 38 in the WASP program who lost their lives.
Mabel Rawlinson, 26, was stationed at Camp Davis in North Carolina when her plane crashed while she and a male instructor were returning from a night training exercise.
It's believed that Rawlinson's hatch malfunctioned, and she couldn't get out. The other pilot was thrown from the plane and suffered serious injuries. Because Rawlinson was a civilian, the military was not required to pay for her funeral or pay for her remains to be sent home. So — and this is a common story — her fellow pilots pitched in.
"They collected enough money to ship her remains home by train," says Pohly. "And a couple of her fellow WASP accompanied her casket."
And, because Rawlinson wasn't considered military, the American flag could not be draped over her coffin. Her family did it anyway. 
Saturday's presentation is included in the cost of general admission to the Air Zoo.  For more information, call 269-382-6555.

 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

California International Airshow: Female Thunderbird ready to hit the skies

From the Monterey County Herald: California International Airshow: Female Thunderbird ready to hit the skies


What did your mom do today? Maj. Caroline Jensen, the married mother of a 4-year-old son, flew her Block 52 F-16 Fighting Falcon jet from Las Vegas to Salinas in 45 minutes on Thursday at an average speed of about 480 mph.
The Iraq combat veteran is one of eight U.S. Air Force fighter pilots who will fly with the Thunderbirds on Saturday and Sunday at the California International Airshow in Salinas, performing maneuvers in four- and six-plane formations in which the wings of each jet are separated by about 2½ feet.
"We've had a lot of other moms with the team in support roles, but I'm actually the first mom to fly for the Thunderbirds," said Jensen, 37, who became a commissioned officer 14 years ago on her wedding day. "I get a lot of attention for that reason, but to me it's not a big deal because of all the women who came before me and cleared the way for me to become a fighter pilot, not a female fighter pilot."
Jensen is Thunderbird No. 3, meaning she flies at the right wing of the lead aircraft in the team's diamond formation. The Thunderbirds also perform in a six-jet delta formation.
"It's pretty amazing to be part of this team and represent the 400,000 men and women who are working hard every day as members of the United States Air Force," said Jensen, a Wisconsin native. "What we do at an air show brings the precision and the pride that we deploy during combat missions to a visible presentation that is entertaining for the public."
Jensen  is the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and the granddaughter of a World War II veteran, a heritage that instilled in her a strong sense of patriotism, she said. She set a goal to go to the Air Force Academy and become a fighter pilot at age 13 after watching the Thunderbirds perform at an air show.
"I was one of 36 pilots who applied to become one of the Thunderbirds in a year when there were two openings for a pilot and one for a narrator position (a pilot who flies an advance plane)," she said.
Those three dozen applicants were narrowed to 12 who accompanied the Thunderbirds to an air show as observers, interacting and interviewing with team members. She was one of six finalists chosen to attend another air show with the team, and was one of three to become Thunderbirds.
"I found out unofficially in May of last year," she said. "It was a special day because I happened to be on vacation with my family at the time, and it was the day before my anniversary."
Jensen, who flew combat missions in Iraq for six months in 2007 and 2008, said the most impressive thing about the F-16 Fighting Falcon is its ability to engage the afterburners and accelerate while flying straight up.
F-16 pilots routinely endure gravitational pull of up to 7Gs.
"I guess if seven people your size were sitting on your lap, that's how it feels to pull 7Gs," she said. "I'm actually pretty used to it. We maintain a high level of fitness, nutrition and hydration, because when you least expect it would be when the Gs would really bother you."
Tickets for the air show can be purchased in advance until 5 p.m. Friday by calling 1-888-845-SHOW, or at Salinas Municipal Airport, home of the airshow.




 

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Women find space worth the risk

From Russia Beyond the Headlines:  Women find space worth the risk

Women find space worth the risk
Russian-French Space team before the 2001 space flight to the International Space Station on the Soyuz-TM 33 space craft. Pictured (L-R): space pilots Konstantin Kozeev, Victor Afanasyev, Claudie Eniere, Sergei Zaletin and Nadezhda Kuzhelnaya. Source: ITAR-TASS
 
According to information from the Russian Space Agency, the final stage of the cosmonaut selection process that was announced earlier this year includes a number of female candidates (the exact figure, as in days of old, will remain a secret until officially made public).

The space industry remains a predominantly male profession. Whereas other “space nations” boast an increasing number of women who have left Earth’s atmosphere, Russia has yet to establish such a trend.

Nevertheless, the history of Russian female cosmonauts in space goes back half a century. In 1962, out of thousands of candidates, five were selected: engineer Irina Solovyova, mathematician and programmer Valentina Ponomareva, weaver Valentina Tereshkova, teacher Zhanna Yerkina, and secretary and stenographer Tatiana Kuznetsova.

No holds were barred during training. To test resistance of the organism to high temperatures, the women were kept inside a heat chamber at 158 degrees Fahrenheit and 30 percent humidity, dressed in full flying gear, until body temperatures climbed up by 36.5 degrees Fahrenheit and pulse rates hit 130 beats per minute.

Weightlessness training made use of the MiG-15-Spark. During one flight, the plane made three or four steep climbs, and tasks were assigned during each 40-second period of weightlessness: first, the pilot had to write her full name, and date and sign the piece of paper; next, she had to try to eat from a tube, and, finally, to pronounce a given phrase over the radio.

Sea trials were also no walk in the park, as they are designed to train cosmonauts for splashdown. The spacesuit was the same for everyone: specially engineered, one-size-fits-all, and quite large for a person 5-feet 5-inches tall. The group of women was separated by height: Tereshkova, Kuznetsova, and Yerkina, at 5-feet 4-inches, were designated the “giants,” and Ponomareva and Solovyova the “shorties”, at 5-feet 3-inches.

The female cosmonauts later told of how, at splashdown, the pressurized helmet would jerk forward and the headset would slip over their eyes. They had to simulate a parachute cutaway, but the fasteners would not stay in place. The inflated suit and gloves only made matters worse. The fasteners were hard to reach, let alone open. The slightest delay caused the body to start overheating.

Having successfully completed general training, the female unit was officially presented to Sergei Korolyov, head of the Soviet Union’s space program, who expressed dissatisfaction with the group in no uncertain terms.

On June 16, 1963, two members of the team — Tereshkova and Solovyova — were ready at the launch pad in full gear. Just moments before, while Irina was being outfitted, the pressurized suit tore in the neck region. Ponomareva’s suit had to be brought in urgently. If Tereshkova’s suit had ripped, no such replacement would have been available, due to the height difference. In that case, the first woman cosmonaut would have been Irina Solovyova.

During Tereshkova’s 3-day flight, the whole unit waited at the launch pad with baited breath. On June 19, 1963, the Vostok spacecraft and cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova descended separately by parachute and landed safely near each other. Tereshkova’s outwardly triumphant flight did not, however, change Korolyov’s views regarding female cosmonauts. The female unit was finally disbanded due to “lack of utilization” in 1969, after Korolyov’s death.

Only Tereshkova remained at the Cosmonaut Training Center and was there in an official capacity until 1997. Prior to 2004, the only woman in the cosmonaut corps was Nadezhda Kuzhelnaya. Despite being considered a highly qualified specialist, Kuzhelnaya never flew to space during her ten years of service. Currently, the only female member is Elena Serova, but her cosmic destiny is still unclear. A member since 2006, she has yet to be assigned to any mission.

Meanwhile, studies on the impact of space flight on women's health are far from optimistic. Some salient points from a recent NASA report:

1. The level of radiation in low-Earth orbit, let alone in deep space, is such that it hinders the ability to become pregnant. For a normal pregnancy, levels of radiation should not exceed 500 micro-roentgen (µR) for the whole period of pregnancy (no more than 50 µR per month). This level varies on board the International Space Station (ISS), depending on the position of the station. Still, it would be around 35,000 µR over an entire period of pregnancy. Space can cause a deficit of ovulation and reduce estrogen levels, which leads to loss of calcium in the bones and osteoporosis (more so in women than in men).

2. In the absence of gravity, congealment of the blood in the pelvic organs may increase the risk of endometriosis (a hormonal disorder affecting female sexual organs).

3. Prior to lift-off, it is recommended that astronauts deposit their eggs and sperm for storage, if they intend to become parents at a later date.

Dr. Rostislav Beleda, having worked for 14 years as a sexual pathologist at the Central Research Aviation Hospital, believes that space flight has a negative impact on all functions of the female body, but especially on the reproductive organs. No American female astronaut has ever become pregnant after flying to space. Men also experience problems after long flights in space. Impartial U.S. data on the matter concludes that 63 percent of men and 80 percent of women astronauts suffer from sexual dysfunction.

Such unresolved health issues are likely related to deputy head of Russia’s Federal Space Agency Vitaly Davydov’s admission late last year that "insufficient applications from women" had been received to join the space-flight program.





 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Nivedita Bhasin becomes first woman B-787 Dreamliner pilot

From Punjab News Online: Nivedita Bhasin becomes first woman B-787 Dreamliner pilot

MUMBAI: Senior Air India pilot Capt Nivedita Bhasin has become the first woman to command the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner which landed in New Delhi Wednesday, an airline official said.
Bhasin, 50, brought the sleek new Dreamliner aircraft (VT-AND), the second to be inducted by Air India, from US' Charleston to the Indian capital, as the only trained woman pilot in the world for the B-787.

Incidentally, Bhasin, who joined the erstwhile Indian Airlines, now merged into a common entity Air India, in 1984, had created world aviation history by commanding a commercial jetliner at the age of 26 on Jan 1, 1990, on the Mumbai-Aurangabad-Udaipur sector.

While the first B-787 arrived in India Sep 8 and the second Wednesday), the third B-787 is expected to arrive in India by the month-end while five more are likely to join Air India fleet by the end of this year.

Air India launched its first commercial service Wednesday with the B-787 flying between New Delhi-Chennai and then it was deployed on the Delhi-Bangalore route.

The carrier will receive a total 27 B-787s -- advanced, fuel efficient and eco-friendly aircraft capable of flying up to 16,000 kms non-stop -- over the next five years. Nivedita lives with her husband, Capt Rohit Bhasin, and their two children in New Delhi.

World War II from a WASP's point of view topic of seniors meeting in Florham Park

From Florham Park Eagle:  World War II from a WASP's point of view topic of seniors meeting in Florham Park

FLORHAM PARK – World War II veteran Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu shared her experiences as a Women Air Force Service Pilot at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, when the first fall meeting of  Florham Park AARP Chapter 5109 gots underway at the Florham Park Senior Center, located on Longley Lane in the borough municipal complex off Ridgedale Avenue.

From 1942 to 1944 the WASP were the first women to fly airplanes for the Army Air Force. Their seven-month training program was almost identical to that of the male cadets. Although the WASP were disbanded,  Haydu continued flying, at one point serving as a flying instructor.


Haydu is an inductee into the  Aviation Hall of Fame in Teterboro and  into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame.

She is also the author of “Letters From Home,” based on leters her mother had saved.
Chapter meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month. Refreshments are served between the business meeting and the program. Parking is available at the center, or in the Community Center lot, from where attendees can be shuttled

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pilot error differences based on gender

From Aviation Knowledge .com: Pilot error differences based on gender 

Introduction

Female growth in aviation industry has only just started about 30 years ago. The first American female pilot, Harriet Quimby obtained her license in august 11, 1911. On January 29, 1973, Emily Howell Warne became the first woman working as a pilot for commercial airline, the Frontier Airlines.
Females were known to have lesser chance of employment as airline cockpit crew in the olden days. In 1973, only ten females were classified as by FAA as US airline pilots.[8] However, this number has changed over the last 20 years. Few of the reasons for this increase include equal opportunity employment legislation, military acceptance of females to train and fly and national view regarding professional females are changing.[8]

The differences between male and female

Females and males are different in the level of physical, physiological and psychological composition. These differences can affect their ability to endure stresses in flight.[7] Questions are raised regarding males and females being equally fit to fly aircraft safely. It is important to recognize the differences between male and female that can impact flying operations. It has been established in lots of studies that variation in aptitudes, skills and cognitive abilities differ among male and female. The largest cognitive gender differences are found in visual-spatial abilities.[6] Spatial ability includes accurately visualizing an object as it rotates in space. This is a practical skills needed to operate in a three-dimensional environment such as when flying. A huge amount of research has proven that males possess greater visual –spatial skills than females. However, females on the other hand may have better verbal skills than males.[1] These skills are important to obtain proficiency in take off and landing procedures, traffic avoidance and basic maneuvering of aircraft in flight and on ground. Verbal skills on the other hand are important to maintain safe air traffic control communication and facilitate cockpit crew coordination.[8] Although there are some arguments indicating that the extent of cognitive gender differences are not only small but they are also diminishing.[5] Another argument is made claiming that the general populations of females tend to have lower visual-spatial abilities than males but females entering the flying professions may be those who excel in the attributes needed for being a successful pilot.

Result

Aviation accident is defined as “an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircrafts receives substantial damage”. According to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately 75% of aviation accidents are classified as pilot error. The remaining 25% are due to factors such as aircraft design flaws, improper or inadequate maintenance, and the ground crew. General aviation was accountable for 82% of total air transport related accidents and 83% of total fatalities that were associated with air transport between 1990 and 2003 according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the US. General Aviation (GA) is classified as operations of civilian aircraft for the purposes other than commercial passenger transport, including personal, business, and instructional flying. General aviation aircraft crashes claimed an average of 652 lives annually between 1995 and 1999 which is accountedfor 85% of all aviation deaths in US.[2] A study conducted by Derbyshire (2001) found that the most common cause of crashes was loss of control during take off and landing. 59% of female accidents and 36% of male accidents are a result of this error. Male and female pilots have been found to crash for different reasons. Female pilot tend to crash due to mishandling the aircraft while male pilot tend to crash due to inattention and flawed decision making.[2] The ratio of pilot error between male and female pilot from 1983 to 2002, shows that female pilots may have a slightly higher proportion of pilots errors. However, a recent study by Bazargan (2010) found that male GA pilots were more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than female pilots. These results support the finding of Vail and Ekman (1986) that male GA pilots are taking more risks than female pilots which leads to more fatal accidents.
References
1. Backman, M.E (1972). Patterns of mental abilities, ethnic, socio-economic and sex differences. American Education Research Journal, 9, 1-12.
2. Baker, S., Grabowski, M., Lamb, W., Li, G., and Rebok, G (2001). Characteristic of general aviation crashes involving mature male and female pilots. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, 72, 447-452.
3. Bazargan, M., and Guzhva, V. (2010). Impact of gender, age and experience of pilots on general aviation accidents. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43, 962-970.
4. Derbyshire, D. (2001, May 21). The great driver gender dispute takes to the air. The Daily Telegraph, p.1.
5. Feingold, A. (1988). Cognitive gender differences are disappearing. American Pshychologist, 43, 95-103.
6. Halpern, D.F. (1989). The disappearance of cognitive gender differences: what you see depends on where you look. American Psychologist, 44, 1156-1157.
7. Lyons, T.J. (1992). Women in the fast jet cockpit-aeromedical considerations. Aviation, Space, and Environment Medicine, 63, 89-816.
8. McFadden, K.L. (1996). Comparing pilot-error accident rates of male and female airline pilots. Omega, 24, 443-450.
9. Vail, G.J., and Ekman, L. (1986). Pilot-error accidents: Male vs. female. Applied Ergonomics, 17, 297-303.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ninety-Nines’ museum, headquarters promote women in aviation history

From NewsOK:  Ninety-Nines’ museum, headquarters promote women in aviation history

In 1929, 86 women pilots met to form an organization that wasn’t named until two years later, when 99 female pilots met again.
The Ninety-Nines were born. The women, including famed pilot Amelia Earhart, banded together to promote women in the aviation industry.
Today, the Ninety-Nines Inc. International Organization of Women Pilots has members worldwide with chapters scattered around the globe and one in cyberspace.
Its mission is to promote advancement of aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support while honoring their unique history and sharing their passion for flight.
The group’s international headquarters is in a two-story building near Will Rogers World Airport. Why here? Oklahoma City is centrally located.
The headquarters itself takes up most of the bottom floor, with several exhibits scattered around, showing what the Ninety-Nines are about.
The second floor houses the 99s Museum of Women Pilots. It is filled with mementos from aviation history, from the first female pilot, Harriet Quimby, who got her license to fly in 1911, to displays of women in the American space program.
Both floors have an afternoon’s worth of exhibits that not only inform, but enchant.
Earhart is well represented here, with pride of place given to a scarf she often wore. There is no explanation why it wasn’t around her neck when she left on that final flight 75 years ago. Her family donated it to the Ninety-Nines museum.
Its aura is enhanced when you know that astronaut Marine Lt. Col. Randy Bresnik took it up on the space shuttle Atlantis on STS-129 in November 2009. Bresnik is the grandson of Earhart’s personal photographer, Albert Bresnick.
Albert Bresnik wanted to go on Earhart’s final flight, but he was denied a seat because she needed the space and weight for fuel.
A glassed display case has her scarf, photos of both Albert and Randy Bresnik — Albert with Earhart and Randy in his spacesuit — a mission patch, and a photo of Earhart and the scarf floating by the porthole of the shuttle, clearly in space.
The museum also gives visitors a look at Earhart’s pilot’s license. The one displayed now is a copy. The real one is on display at the Smithsonian.
Hilary Swank autographed a poster from her 2009 movie about Earhart’s life — “Amelia” — and it’s on display too.
The older displays show just how far flight fashion has come. Flight suits from the early days are there, some obviously made for men, but the museum includes a getup that coverts from a skirt to a shirt and back again so ladies are always property clothed when not in the cockpit. The design is patented.
Mathilde Moisant, the second woman to get her pilot’s license, wrote about women’s flying gear, saying, “A veil has no place in aviation,” a somewhat scandalous statement at the time.
Also on display are the uniforms assigned to members of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs), women who ferried planes around the world during World War II. They flew damaged ones from battlefields to air bases for repair. They were given leather jackets and pants and a regular flight suit. One also can see uniforms worn by British women who served the same function for the Royal Air Force. Nearby is a piece of a current fighter jet, flown by fighter pilot Kim Campbell. It’s full of real bullet holes from when she was shot at over Baghdad, Iraq. She flew that plane to safety herself and donated a damaged piece of the fuselage to the museum.
Did you know at one time two women flew in the Air Force’s Thunderbird’s show flight team? There’s one of their uniforms on display.
The first all-women flight crew of a commercial 747 aircraft have a uniform on display and information on the women who were in the cockpit. One of those pilots, Valerie Walker, is the daughter of Clint Walker, famous actor and member of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. She came to Oklahoma with her father to visit both museums when he was inducted into the hall in 2004.
Interactive displays give the history of women and airplanes, and there is a flight simulator so visitors can try their skills at taking off, flying and landing a plane.
On the way out, visitors can stop by the small gift shop for a souvenir.
The Ninety-Nines local chapters hold educational programs, fear-of-flying clinics for airline passengers and safety programs. They recently became a sponsor for a Girl Scout of America aviation merit badge.
Members work with the National Intercollegiate Flying Association student flying competitions. The organization gives full and partial scholarships for many types of training.
The Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships are given to qualified members for fully funded advanced flight training, jet type ratings and technical training.
The group also gives research scholarship grants and new pilot awards.
Chapters raise money with flight races, including the upcoming Okie Derby set for Saturday at Wiley Post Airport. This race, the nation’s longest running proficiency air race, is not a speed race but one that judges a pilot’s ability to judge time and fuel usage on a predesignated fight path within about 200 miles of Wiley Post. Winners receive trophies, and proceeds are used for “Wings of the Future” scholarship programs.

Monday, September 17, 2012

NAVY COMMEMORATES WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY

 From Avionics Intelligence on August 23: NAVY COMMEMORATES WOMEN'S EQUALITY DAY

The following information was released by the Pacific Fleet Forces Command:
By Ensign Amber Lynn Daniel, Diversity and Inclusion Public Affairs
Commands are encouraged to celebrate Women's Equality Day Aug. 26, as announced by NAVADMIN 251/12.
Established by Congress in 1971, Women's Equality Day was designed to commemorate the long struggle of generations of women to gain the right to vote.
The observance also calls attention to women's continuing efforts today towards full equality.
The women's suffrage movement began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Convened by suffragist leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the committee published a "Declaration of Sentiments." The declaration outlined key social, civil and political demands for women, helping the cause of women's suffrage gain national prominence. Nearly 72 years later, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed Aug. 26, 1920, granting women throughout the United States the right to vote.

In 1971, to honor and commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment, U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug introduced a resolution to designate Aug. 26 as the annual Women's Equality Day. Today, the observance recognizes the anniversary of women's suffrage and of the continued efforts toward equal rights in the United States.
All Navy commands are encouraged to reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of women in the armed services during this observance.
Women first entered Naval service in 1908 with the establishment of the Navy Nurse Corps, 12 years before women were granted the right to vote. Women continued to serve in the Navy in varying capacities throughout World War I and World War II, but it was not until June 12, 1948, with the passage of the Women's Armed Services Integration Act that women gained permanent status in the U.S. armed services. The first six enlisted women were sworn into regular U.S. Navy service July 7, 1948. Four months later the first eight female Naval officers were commissioned Oct. 15, 1948.
Women were first assigned to selected non-combatant ships in 1978, and opportunities were later broadened to include service on warships in 1994 following the repeal of the combat exclusion law. In April 2010, the Navy announced a policy change allowing female officers to serve on submarines. Today, 95 percent of Navy billets are open to the assignment of women.
This year has been a landmark year for women in the Navy. The year kicked off with five women making naval history as the first all-female E-2C Hawkeye crew to fly a combat mission. Plane Commander Lt. Cmdr. Tara Refo, Mission Commander Lt. Cmdr. Brandy Jackson, Second Pilot Lt. Ashley Ruic, Air Control Officer Lt. Nydia Driver, and Radar Operator Lt. j.g. Ashley Ellison were assigned to Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 when they made their historic flight Jan. 25.
Two days later, the Navy honored the passing of the fleet's first female aircraft handling officer, Lt. Cmdr. Regina Mills, during a ceremony Jan. 27 in Bremerton, Wash. More than 2,000 family members, friends, and shipmates assembled aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to pay respect to Mills, who was struck and killed by a vehicle when she stopped to assist others involved in a traffic collision in Gig Harbor, Wash., Jan. 23.
In April, the Navy bid fair winds and following seas to one of the original female surface warfare trailblazers, Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau. Rondeau holds the distinction of serving as the first warfare qualified female admiral and, prior to her retirement, was the highest ranking female flag officer in the Navy. She retired after 38 years of dedicated naval service.
Later that month, Rear Adm. Michelle Howard was nominated for appointment to the rank of Vice Admiral April 16. If confirmed, Howard would become the first female African American three star admiral. In July, Vice Adm. Nanette DeRenzi was assigned as Judge Advocate General of the Navy. De Renzi is the highest ranking female in the Judge Advocate General Corps, and is the first woman to hold the Judge Advocate General Corps' most senior position. Vice Adm. Robin Braun, the highest ranking female aviator in the Navy, became chief of the Navy Reserve Aug. 13, and is the first woman to hold the post.
There are currently 35 female flag officers in the Navy; 21 represent the active duty component, and 14 represent the Reserve component.
Enlisted women also made notable accomplishments during 2012. In May, Command Master Chief (AW/SW) JoAnn M. Ortloff became Fleet Master Chief for Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Africa. Upon her selection, Ortloff became the highest ranking enlisted woman in the Navy, and only the second woman to reach the position of fleet master chief.
Command Master Chief (AW/SW) April Beldo continued her tradition of breaking barriers for women when she assumed her new position as force master chief of Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), the first African American woman to do so. Beldo arrived at NETC in April after serving aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), where she held the title of the first female African American command master chief of a nuclear aircraft carrier. She is currently the only woman serving as a force master chief in the Navy.
Policy changes affecting women serving in the Navy also took shape in 2012. The Department of Defense announced changes to the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule Feb. 9. The changes were implemented in May, opening an additional 14,325 positions throughout the Department of Defense previously closed to women.
Today, 54,537 women serve in the Navy on active duty or in the Reserve, comprising 17 percent of the force. Additionally, nearly 50,000 women serve across the Navy in a wide range of specialties as civilian employees.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Female Apache pilot 1 of less than 20 in aviation brigad

From Fort Riley Post: Female Apache pilot 1 of less than 20 in aviation brigade


photograph by
Although Chief Warrant Officer 2 Laura Tanski only officially slipped the bonds of earth as an Army aviator two years ago, the young woman from Michigan has been living in the clouds for most of her life. “For as long as I can remember, my room was filled with airplanes and helicopters,” said Tanski, a pilot with the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. “I have always loved aviation, and I knew since I was a kid that I was going to fly.”
Tanski’s route to the skies above Fort Riley began in her hometown of Dearborn Heights, Mich., long before she was really even old enough to ride a bike, much less pilot a helicopter.
“We were always attending air shows or visiting the air museum,” said Patricia Tanski, Laura’s mother. “Her passion for flying just grew and grew.”
While in high school, Laura got her first taste of flight during flying lessons at a local airport. That quick taste, which included a rather harrowing solo flight in a snow storm, left the young pilot hooked.
“I am fascinated by the fact that a huge machine like a plane or a helicopter can actually fly,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of that.”
After a short tour with the Air Force and a deployment to Iraq with the 25th Infantry Division as an Army air traffic controller, Laura said she decided it was time she stopped managing aircraft from the ground. She put in her paperwork to attend flight school and was selected in early 2008.
“The day I got selected for flight school was the best day of my life,” she said. “I just kept looking at that selection list on the computer – I had to double and triple check it to make sure I was seeing things right.”
Laura spent two years learning how to fly at Fort Rucker, Ala. The young aviator said the flying part came easy in the early days of flight school – she was, in fact, one of the first students to “solo” in her class. When the time came for Laura to select her “advanced aircraft,” she had her heart set on one, and only one, airframe – the AH-64 Apache helicopter, one of the Army’s most lethal pieces of equipment. 
“My intent has always been to get as close into the battle as possible, and I knew that the Apache was always right there in every mission,” she said.      
Laura’s mother said she was not surprised her daughter selected the Apache – she would have been more surprised if her little girl hadn’t selected the high-tech aircraft.
“Laura has always welcomed a challenge, so it was no surprise that she would choose the most challenging and complex helicopter,” she said.
When she began the Apache helicopter block of instruction, Laura was the only female in her class. Today, she is one of just four Apache pilots in her battalion and one of less than 20 female helicopter pilots who call the CAB home.
Being a member of such a small group has never made much of a difference to Laura, however. To her, there is no difference between the Soldiers to her left and right and the big brother who tore up and down the roads of Dearborn playing street hockey with his little sister, she said.
“Having an older brother really prepared me for life in this unit and in the Army,” she said. “All the Soldiers here are just like brothers to me. We play jokes on each other and have a good time, but we work hard, too. Our company is very close; it really is like a Family down here.” 
Now edging toward 300 total flight hours, including 80 combat flight hours, Laura said she is looking forward to her future in Army aviation.
“I want to become an instructor pilot,” she said. “I had some fantastic instructors while I was at Fort Rucker, and I want to be able to teach others, just like those great IPs taught me.”
Laura also has a few things to teach her fellow female Soldiers who are blazing their own paths in fields typically dominated by their male counterparts.
“Never give up, no matter who says you can’t do it,” she said. “If you want it, if this is your dream, go for it.”
Her daughter’s dedication to excellence and never ending pursuit of her dream has made Patricia quite proud of a little girl, who used to save her allowance so she could buy rocket kits and host launch parties in the backyard.
“I feel my daughter is not only a role model for her Family, especially her nieces, but for every woman who has a goal that she is working to accomplish,” Patricia said. “Even I continue to be inspired by my daughter every day.”
By Mollie Miller 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs
Mollie Miller  |  1ST INF. DIV.Chief Warrant Officer 2 Laura Tanski, CAB, pauses for a photo in front of her Apache Block III helicopter Aug. 16 at Marshall Army Airfield. Tanski is one of less than 20 female Army aviators who fly for the CAB.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pilot is 3rd female to fly with Thunderbirds

This article is from a couple of weeks ago...

From Quad City Times:  Pilot is 3rd female to fly with Thunderbirds


 Quad_CityAirShow3_83012
Maj. Caroline Jensen is the only female member of the U.S. Air Force ThunderbirdsWith a father who fought in the Vietnam War and a grandfather who was a World War II soldier, U.S. Air Force Maj. Caroline Jensen said she always had a feeling she would be in the military someday as well.
“I grew up with a really strong sense of patriotism and the knowledge that there are people out there who serve so we can live with the freedoms that we have,” the 37-year-old native of River Falls, Wis., said Thursday.
But it took a trip to an air show when she was 13 years old to determine what her flight path would be.
“I knew I wanted to be a fighter pilot,” she said. “I wanted to go to the Air Force Academy, and I was fortunate enough to achieve the goals of being here and doing this job, going to all these shows and all that traveling.”
She and other U.S. Air Force Thunderbird pilots will keep that tradition at this weekend’s Quad-City Air Show, taking place Saturday and Sunday at the Davenport Municipal Airport. Jensen is 10 months into her two-year assignment that includes 60 demonstration appearances in 33 different locations and a travel schedule filling 220 days a year.
“We are on the road till mid-November. Then we go in and train next year’s team and we’re on the road again starting in about April,” Jensen said on the tarmac at Elliott Aviation on the grounds of the Quad-City International Airport in Moline.
Jensen is a bit nonchalant about being only the third female pilot in the history of the Thunderbirds. Although women began training with the squadron in 1974, the first woman to officially fly with the team was in 2006.
“People are still kind of surprised to see women, but the Air Force is 20 percent female and I really don’t feel different than my male counterparts,” she said. “I have not felt any pressure one way or another being female. I just go out and do my best job because of who I am and not my gender.”
Traditionally a mid-June fixture on the event schedule in the Quad-Cities, the air show has moved to Labor Day weekend this year. When he announced the schedule change in January, show president Ken Hopper said it was well-received by committees, sponsors and fans.
The move was primarily aimed at getting the Thunderbirds for their eighth appearance at the annual air show, but their first since 2007.
“In the air show industry, if you have the opportunity to host the (U.S. Navy) Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds, you do it,” Hopper said in a January interview. “It’s kind of like a golf tournament getting the chance to bring in Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. You do what you can to have the

Friday, September 14, 2012

Women in Aviation 2012

You need to view this on a computer.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

PT: High-efficiency wingtip design now tested; introduced at Oshkosh 2012

High-efficiency wingtip design now tested; introduced at Oshkosh 2012

Old dream became reality on 1 flight took place in 1903 in North Carolina by the Wright brothers, departure of this wonderful adventure, fly!
Since that day all forms, from the smallest to the largest, from the slowest to the fastest, the aircraft is became an interest center for all of us.
Since that date the improvements have been constant to reduce all the drags, parasitic drags, and form drags and others, but only one remained stubborn to reduce, the provocative of wingtip vortices, the induced drag.
The induced drag can not be completely removed because it generates the lift of aircraft.
It is 10% of the total drag at high speed, 20% in climb up and 70 to 80% by taking off!
In fact, the induced drag is inversely proportional to the square of the speed, while the remainder of the drag is directly proportional to the square of the velocity.
A one percent reduction of the drag saves millions of dollars to air transport company and, more of 3% of global pollution is made by the aviation industry.
The problem is twofold:
The induced drag creates a loss of fuel caused by two wingtip vortex.
These two contra-rotating vortices very violent can lead to serious accidents, especially around airports, if you do not respect the spacing between each category of aircraft.
You should know that every year there is a 5% increase in cumulated traffic and it will soon be difficult to move in airspace, with the all of these vortices.
Now talking about the MINIX device and its operation.
The nature abhors a vacuum
Everything is managed by forces and against-forces created by the vacuum. You can put any dam at the wingtip, nothing can stop the vortex from forming, therefore, from this conclusion I decided to look me into this problem and focus my research on a specific shape to reduce this helical motion of this induced drag.
In the beginning, to be in sure, I created a rough prototype fixed on the roof of my car equipped with strands of red wool to observe the flows at high speed on the highway, visible and controllable of my opening sunroof. I found that the strands of wool was headed in the right direction, it was in 1997.
After several campaigns of wind tunnel on 28 different prototypes finally I got a very interesting result and I continued my research by 5 digital blower campaigns on airplane where I got a net gain of 6% net on the entire airplane.
As there was an emerging interest in the wind turbine I have also done 8 digital blower campaigns on the wind turbine U.S. NREL where I got a gain of 14% additional efficiency power average by year with less vibration on the entire structure and no changes to the axial thrust.
Since that date 14 patents were filed, which 2 in the USA.
In April and June 2012, actual tests were made on RV4 and RV8 with results far beyond the laboratory wind tunnel tests and numerical wind tunnel.
2 Further tests are planned on RV7 and RV8 in Europe in 2012.
OPERATION OF THE MINIX
This invention is based on three pressures:
1 - The local pressure in front of the airplane
2 - depression caused by the upper surface (extrados)
3 - The pressure caused by the under surface (intrados)
Notice that the leading edge of wing tip of the airplane is continuous with the leading edge of the MINIX drop-shaped water to the inlet of MINIX. This specific form causes a COANDA effect and allows:
- Accelerating and directing the flow towards the inside of the cylinder
- Directing from its creation, a part of rotary motion of the vortex.
Indeed, when the relative wind enters the cylinder, half of the efficiency is achieved.
The acceleration of the air entering by the inlet of the cylinder will cause a greater depression in and capture a portion of the pressure swirling around the cylinder by a helical slot along the entire second half of the device. This acceleration will cause the output to multiple mini-vortex trailing edge of the wing
About the results of the first real tests, they announce to 2 digits.
The invention is on the website
www.minix.fr

History takes wing

From Santa Maria Times:  History takes wing

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Michael Sheppard of Signs of Success installs a mural depicting the history of women in flight Wednesday at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight.

The Santa Maria Valley Chapter of the Ninety-Nines will be making a bit of history by celebrating 100 years of it.
The chapter will host the Southwest Section meeting of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of licensed women pilots, next weekend when more than 100 women from California, Arizona, and Nevada are expected to land in Santa Maria.
On Saturday, the local chapter will dedicate its Ninety-Nines Memorial Garden, a park that celebrates women’s contributions to aviation.
The local chapter has members from the Five Cities to Santa Ynez.
The public is invited to the ceremony, which begins at 2:30 p.m. A reception follows the dedication. The garden is located adjacent to the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, 3015 Airpark Drive.
The garden has been a two-year labor of love for the Ninety-Nines, especially chapter vice chair Sunni Gibbons, who took an idea and flew with it.
“It was clearly a calling. The woman who started the idea for this, Wilma Poage, passed away. When she was talking about it, something in me just clicked and I knew this was mine to do,” Gibbons said of Poage, a local Ninety-Nine and director of the Museum of Flight who died in 2009 from breast cancer.
Poage and Katherine Hulme, the museum’s first executive director, are remembered in the rose garden that leads from the door of the museum to the memorial garden.
Developing the garden and the spectacular mural that celebrates nearly 100 years of women’s achievements and contributions to aviation, was kind of like flying without landmarks for Gibbons, an accomplished artist.
“It’s been a real intense experience — total involvement. Any artist can tell you what it is to be totally involved with your creative project for a long period of time. This is the biggest creative project I’ve ever attempted,” said Gibbons, who this year became the fourth local pilot inducted into the Forest of Friendship, a living memorial in Atchison, Kan., the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, dedicated to people who contributed to aviation.
Pat Rowe and Diane Pirman, accompanied Gibbons to Kansas in June for the ceremony.
While the garden, with its meandering path outlined by memorial bricks and benches, has been complete for some time, the 28-foot mural has been created in the past eight months.
Gibbons created computer layouts of the photographic images of historic women aviators she collected with help from Pirman and Cheryl Cooney, of the San Luis Obispo chapter. Signs of Success, a Santa Maria sign company, turned those files into the vivid mural that now adorns the garden wall.
Comprised of seven 4- by 8-foot panels of aluminum sheeting, each panel depicts a different era of women in aviation stretching from Harriet Quimby, the first licensed woman pilot in America, to astronauts Peggy Whitson, who became the first female space station commander, and Sunita Williams, holder of the female flight endurance record with 195 days in space.
A group that received special attention in the mural is “The Warriors,” women military pilots whose origins can be traced to the WASPs, the Women Air Services Pilots of World War II.
“These were gals that flew. They were never even acknowledged by the government until the 1980s,” said Pat Viker. They used to ferry aircraft from manufacturers to where the government needed them, and they’d tow targets for the men to shoot at. Can you believe that?”
The WASPS will also be recognized in a display the Ninety-Nines are organizing inside the Museum of Flight. Four original WASP uniforms, donated by Five Cities resident Mark Weedon, will be on display along with an original WASP patch, with its Fifinella mascot that was created by Walt Disney.
The dedication marks the end of two years of work that turned a weed-filled eyesore at the airport into a focal point. Even though Gibbons is an accomplished artist, much like the women the garden honors, she stretched her wings during its development.
“When you’re kind of doing something out at the far edges of what you’ve done before you don’t have any models to go by. You just feel your way organically to the next step,” she said.
The Ninety-Nines Memorial Garden is a perfect landing.