Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Iris Critchell


Ever day, I check Ebay to see if anyone is offering anything about the Powder Puff Derby.  Today someone was offering a Pilot magazine from 1958, which talked about the Derby (then in its 11th year) and Iris Critchell. Whi is Iris Critchell?


Iris Critchell
From Harvey Mudd College : Iris Critchell Celebrates 90th Birthday

Feb 24, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. - 
Community members gathered Feb. 19 to celebrate their favorite aviatrix—Iris Critchell, instructor of aeronautics emerita, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.
In attendance were over 100 people, including family, many alumni, faculty and friends, who shared personal stories about Iris and her husband, Howard ("Critch"). HMC students receiving aeronautical scholarships were also in attendance.
  • Claire Robinson '11- The Hale Chapin Field Memorial Aeronautical Endowed Scholarship
  • Joseph Min '12- The Lois & Joseph Marriott Aeronautical Endowed Scholarship
  • Johnson Qu '12- The Adele & David Foley Aeronautical Endowed Scholarship
  • Keiko Hiranaka '12- Isabel Bates Aeronautical Endowed Scholarship
  • Christopher Cotner '13- The Adele & David Foley Aeronautical Annual Scholarship
  • Benjamin Liu '12- The Iris & Howard Critchell Aeronautical Annual Scholarship
Included among the guests were Bates Aeronautics Program alumni whom Iris and Howard had taught to fly. In 1962, Iris prepared the curriculum for the Bates Foundation for Aeronautical Education, which later became HMC's Bates Aeronautics Program and was run by Iris and Howard, until 1990. The two-year curriculum of classes and flight was designed specifically for the needs of the science and engineering students at HMC. Critchell, who was named the local FAA Instructor Pilot of the Year in the early 1970's, served as the chief flight instructor of the flight portion and on the faculty as Aeronautics Program Director.
Critchell, who served as a designated pilot examiner for the FAA FSDO for more than 20 years, began flying in 1939 at Mines Field, now known as the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). From then on, her diverse flight experience helped define the role women were able to assume in the field of aeronautics.
In 1941, Critchell's became the first woman to complete the Civil Pilot Training Program at the University of Southern California (USC), where she also earned a degree in physical sciences and mathematics.
As a member of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP), Critchell went on to ferry military planes across the county during World War II for the U.S. Army.
Following the WASP disbandment, she continued her flight training and designed the curriculum for USC's aeronautical courses for veterans at its College of Aeronautics in Santa Maria in 1946. While there, Critchell served as chief ground instructor and chief instrument rating flight instructor for three years.
After retiring from HMC as instructor emerita of aeronautics in 1990—the year the college's Bates Program officially ended—Critchell continued to serve as a faculty advisor on numerous projects. Over the years, she also assisted the HMC Engineering Clinic's aeronautics projects and performed equipment flight tests.
Critchell's lifetime achievements also include swimming in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, winning the 1957 Powder Puff Derby (a transcontinental race performed by women pilots) and being inducted into the National Flight Instructors Hall of Fame in 2000 and receiving a Congressional Gold Medal in 2010 along with fellow members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Today, she lectures and consults on various phases of aviation education and history.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Operation Celestial Flight

http://38wasp.blogspot.com/p/operation-celestial-flight.html

If you're interested in the WASP who gave their lives for their country.

This is the intro to the blog:
This site is dedicated to those WASP and their families. Please contact me if you want me to post their stories, photos and videos. Artifacts are appreciated too, as I will travel and make presentations on their/our behalf and/or help you locate museums to donate to. If you would like more information, contact 38WASP@gmail.com. I am Cheryl Marie Michell, niece of WASP Marie Michell Robinson, Class 44-2, one of the 38 WASP who gave her life for her country in WWII.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight

From Denver Post:  Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight  Read more: Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight
Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight

Read more: Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21968958/arvada-wasp-pilot-recaptures-legacy-fifinella-biplane-flight#ixzz2DLu2OMJ2
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse 
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL


Lucile Wise, 92, awaits pilot Chad Graves as the two prepare to fly in a 1942 Boeing-Stearman biplane at Centennial Airport. Wise, with the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, was among the first women to fly military aircraft. This year, they will be honored at the 10th annual gala of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Dec. 21. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)


Read more: Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21968958/arvada-wasp-pilot-recaptures-legacy-fifinella-biplane-flight#ixzz2DLulAAMs
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse


The first female military pilots in U.S. history — women including Lucile Wise of Arvada — signed up during World War II and trained to fly bombers and fighters such as the legendary P-51 Mustang.
The U.S. Army Air Forces didn't have enough pilots, so women were recruited for military flying jobs stateside to free up men to fly combat missions overseas.

Seventy years after her pilot training, Wise strapped herself into the open cockpit of a 1942 Boeing-Stearman biplane, used as a military trainer during the war.

The 92-year-old wore goggles, a headset and a borrowed leather bomber jacket. Excited, she grinned as the pilot fired up the engine.


When the canary biplane roarded down the runway, a former Air Force pilot watched in awe.

"Fifinella flies again," said Greg Anderson, president and chief executive of Wings Over the Rockies, as the plane rose into the warm afternoon sky earlier this week. "The legacy lives on."

Fifinella — a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney that appeared in many World War II cartoons — was the official mascot of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Her image appeared on the noses of bombers and on the flight jackets of 1,074 women, including Wise.

"These ladies were way ahead of their time," he said. "Individually, and as a group, they have a piece of history we will never be able to experience. They paved the way and proved it could be done."

These women will be honored at the 10th annual gala of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Dec. 21, which will feature many WASP pilots, including seven who live in Colorado. The traveling exhibit, "Fly Girls of WWII," runs through March at the museum.

In an era when the dominant role for women was to stay at home serving as wives and mothers, the opportunity to train as military pilots opened a door to women like Wise, who had dropped out of Colorado Women's College and was working in Wichita.

"We all wanted to do something to help the war effort. All my women friends were joining the military," Wise said. "I did it for a lark, to add a little excitement to my life."

She took her first flying lesson Dec. 6, 1941 — the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor — because someone had taken her up in a Piper Cub.

Once behind the controls, Wise was hooked.

By 1943, Jackie Cochran — a beautician who became America's top female pilot — had established the WASPs at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt.

More than 25,000 women applied to the program, and fewer than 1,900 were accepted into the training program at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas.

Wise's classmates included Gertrude "Tommy" Tompkins, whose fighter went down along the California coast soon after takeoff Oct. 26, 1944, and has never been found.

"We never dwelled on it," said Wise. "We were too busy."

The pilots flew a total of 60 million miles in two years. Thirty-eight women died during their service, an accident rate comparable to male pilots doing the same job.

WASPs flew military planes from factories to bases, trained male pilots, towed targets for gunnery practices and tested planes.

Two WASPs were also used to convince male pilots it was safe to fly the B-29. Men resisted flying the new heavy bomber because it hadn't received rigorous testing, and its engines tended to catch fire.

Col. Paul Tibbets recruited two WASPs to serve as demo pilots, and after three days of training, the women powered up the four-engine bomber and ferried around the men.

"They flew it, no problem," said Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, one of the most decorated women in military history, now president of the board of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation. "They thought it was great. That ended the (men's) fear of flying that plane."

The WASPs were disbanded in late 1944, receiving a letter of thanks from Henry Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces.

The war had reached a point "when your services are no longer needed," he said. "The situation is that if you continue in service, you will be replacing instead of releasing our young men."

Most WASPs returned to traditional roles.

"I didn't know what I was going to do. I felt lost," Wise said.

Although the women had been promised that they would be adopted into the military, that never happened. Bills in Congress to militarize the WASPs hit fierce opposition, so they were disbanded with no military benefits and "largely ignored by the U.S. government for more than 30 years," according to the teacher guide of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Wise, who married and raised two children with her husband in Washington, D.C., got fired up in the late 1970s when the Air Force announced that women would be allowed to become military pilots for the first time.

"We got very annoyed," said Wise of the WASPs, who realized they had been totally forgotten by history. "We got organized."

Wise fought for their rights by volunteering in a tiny office at the Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C.

Their demand to be recognized as military veterans faced a united front of tough opponents, including the Veterans Administration, President Jimmy Carter, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"Those groups had so much power, and they feared this would open the floodgates," said Wise.

If the WASPs were granted military status, opponents feared, then the other civilian organizations that worked in the war effort would also demand military recognition.

But the WASPs refused to quit, calling their congresspersons and talking to supportive reporters. They gained some key advocates.

"The Pentagon testified in our favor," said Wise. "It was pretty unusual for them to take a position opposite the White House."

Col. Bruce Arnold, the son of commanding Gen. Henry Arnold, also fought for them, as did Sen. Barry Goldwater, himself a World War II pilot.

In 1977, the House and Senate passed a bill that gave WASPs military status and veterans benefits.

And in 2010, the WASPs received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Barack Obama.

"I've been fortunate enough to know a number of WASPs," said Vaught. "They're a breed among themselves. They have a spirit of adventure that just won't quit."

Colleen O'Connor: 303-954-1083, coconnor@denverpost.com or twitter.com/coconnordp

Celebrating wasps

To encourage girls to learn more about the history of WASPs, admission to "Fly Girls of WWII" at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is free to girls younger than 17 through Dec. 31.

The exhibition, which debuted at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation in Washington, includes a 26-foot WASP timeline, uniformed mannequins, a video, hundreds of photos, WASP memorabilia, and a photo mosaic featuring the face of every WASP.

The gala honoring the WASPs will be at Wings Over the Rockies, 7711 East Academy Boulevard in Denver, Dec. 21 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $200 for members, $250 for nonmembers. For more information, call 303-360-5360 x 110.

In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL
In this Google age, it’s not hard to find them.
Just type in Air Transport Auxiliary and the black-and-white faces begin to appear. They were the ambitious women pilots who flew in the face of gender expectations by taking on dangerous aviation missions during the Second World War.
They are fascinating characters and have long captured the imagination of author Garry Ryan, a former school teacher best known for his series of mystery novels featuring gay protagonist Detective Lane.
Long before Lane began patrolling the mean streets of Calgary, Ryan had toyed with the idea of a book featuring a defiant female pilot putting in time for the Air Transit Auxiliary in England.
“It was based on the idea that these young women came all over the world to fly for the ATA,” says Ryan, in an interview from his Calgary home. “So I thought about what sort of young woman would go there and how she would be received and the troubles she would face, especially if she was a better pilot than most of the men.”
So Sharon Lacey was born. In Blackbirds, which is the first of at least three novels that Ryan has planned for the character, she is introduced as a young pilot who travels from her home in Canada to England in 1940 in search of her estranged father. She finds herself involved with the Auxiliary, a British wartime organization made up of civilians that helped ferry military aircraft to various delivery points.
Lacey eventually finds herself enlisted to by the British to help fend of an air attack by the Germans.
The character is not based on a real person, per se. But Ryan knew what broad-stroke traits he wanted, even if the models he found came from a different era.
“My daughter is like that and I watched her grow up and some of her friends are like that,” he says. “ It came from those places ... They just do what needs to be done. They see what the job is and they get the job done. In wartime, that kind of ability or personality is often needed. It’s not always appreciated, but needed.”
Historically, these women flew heavy bombers and fighters and, when the war ended, were cast aside, Ryan said.
“After the war they were shut down and apparently some of them killed themselves because they couldn’t fly,” Ryan said. “The Russians actually had at least two women who were aces and flew for the Russian air force. But for a lot of these stories, I really had to dig for them.”
Ryan, 58, retired in 2009 after a long career teaching creative writing and other subjects to junior high and high-school students. Sharon Lacey’s outsider status follows a literary pattern of sorts for Ryan. It was during his time in Calgary schools that the idea dawned on him to create a gay protagonist to head a series of Calgary-based mysteries. After seeing two female students in his class bullied because they were gay, he decided to create a heroic gay character. Since then, the driven one-named Detective Lane has gone on to be the hero of five novels, including last year’s Malabarista.
But the idea for Sharon Lacey actually predates the Detective Lane series. Ryan had shelved the book for awhile, but when he found the need for some distraction between Calgary mysteries he returned to the story.
It was a natural fit. Ryan has been a Second World War and aviation buff since he was a kid growing up in Glendale. So immersing himself in the copious amounts of research historical fiction tends to require was a treat, he says. Again, Google came in handy.
“You can actually Google some of the aircraft that she flew and it will almost sit you in the cockpit,” he said. “I got to the air shows, to see what the old aircraft were like and what they sounded like. For me, that’s just really fascinating stuff.”
The research certainly hasn’t seemed to slow down Ryan’s pace. He has already finished three more Lane mysteries and is working on a fourth, which was inspired by a recent trip to Cuba. He’s also busy penning two sequels to Blackbirds.
“I just keep going,” he said. “It’s kind of a compulsion I think.


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtqGcPL

Lucile Wise, 92, awaits pilot Chad Graves as the two prepare to fly in a 1942 Boeing-Stearman biplane at Centennial Airport. Wise, with the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, was among the first women to fly military aircraft. This year, they will be honored at the 10th annual gala of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Dec. 21. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)


Read more: Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_21968958/arvada-wasp-pilot-recaptures-legacy-fifinella-biplane-flight#ixzz2DLulAAMs
Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
Heroic female war pilots fires imagination of Calgary novelist Garry Ryan

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/Heroic+female+pilots+fires+imagination+Calgary+novelist+Garry+Ryan/7527509/story.html#ixzz2DLtWf2sW

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mark your Calendar: March 4-10, 2013

From FlightTraining.org:  Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2013 to focus on aerospace 

(Websites mentioned below are all: http://www.womenofaviationweek.org/contests/invention/)


March 4 through 10, 2013, are the dates of the upcoming Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, and organizers say the 2013 event will focus on opportunities for women in the aerospace industry. The theme ties in with the fiftieth anniversary of the first space flight by a woman, conducted by Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova on June 16, 1963.
Free flights for women and girls, static displays at airports, and special guests are planned at numerous locations in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“No country harbors as many female astronauts as the United States does,” the nonprofit Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide said on its website. “The goal is to welcome a female astronaut at each major U.S. event because … most astronauts are first, pilots. What could be a more exciting inspiration for a young woman to earn a pilot license?”
Victoria Neuville, team leader for U.S. events, said her goal is to have at least one event—called Fly It Forward—in each of the 50 states.
Neuville organized Fly It Forward events at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md.—AOPA’s home airport—in 2011 and 2012. Frederick Municipal earned the title of Most Female-Friendly Airport in 2011, when 185 girls and women took rides in general aviation aircraft.
She’ll also helm the 2013 Fly It Forward at Frederick Municipal, and said it will be a weeklong event rather than one day.
Fourteen states thus far have scheduled Fly It Forward events for 2013. Once again, there will be worldwide competitions for airports that introduce the greatest number of women and girls to aviation. The flight school that introduces the greatest number of women during that week will be named “most female-pilot-friendly training center worldwide,” and a prize also be awarded to the “most supportive male pilot worldwide”—the one who takes the greatest number of girls and women flying during that week.
Neuville urged interested pilots or aviation groups that would like to sponsor an event to register at the website.
If each event introduces just 100 girls and women to aviation, and just 2 percent of those women are motivated to become private pilots, Neuville explained, that could equate to a 10-percent increase in the annual number of new women private pilots.
New to the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is the You Are An Inventor contest, open to girls aged 13 to 19. The contest invites participants to design a new padding system or new type of adjustable space suit that improves freedom of movement for tomorrow’s space explorers. The top prize will be a one-hour conversation with a group of astronauts from several countries via Web conferencing. Entries may be submitted beginning Jan. 7, 2013; the deadline is Feb. 8, 2013. See additional information and eligibility requirements on the website.



 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Meet Pioneer Female Aviation Entrepreneur, Sibongile Sambo

From VenturesAfrica.com:  Meet Pioneer Female Aviation Entrepreneur, Sibongile Sambo

VENTURES AFRICA - When Sibongile Sambo decided to make a career in the South African aviation industry, she encountered a stumbling block  - she could not meet the minimum height requirement for air hostesses.  Today,  Sambo is the Founder and Managing Director of SRS (Sibongile Rejoice Sambo) Aviation – the first black female owned aviation company in South Africa. SRS offers charters in a range of categories including:  VIP charter, air cargo charter, tourist transfers or charter, game count and capture, fire-fighting, heli-camping, medical evacuation, aerial photography, film work, slinging or airlifting, powerline inspection and maintenance, and general air security services to clients.
Born in 1974 in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, South Africa, Sibongile Sambo’s interest in aircrafts started when she was a young girl. Whenever she sees a plane flying overhead, she would stop immediately and imagine herself in that plane. Sambo had visions about planes and would imagine herself flying to different countries and meeting people. Her dream came true when the 2003 post-apartheid government passed the Black Economic Empowerment Act, which enables people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds enter and participate in economic life as entrepreneurs.
However, she had a challenge that could have prevented her from achieving her dream – she had no prior experience or capital to purchase an aircraft. Rather than go through the formal means for acquiring the capital, Sambo relied on her family to lend her the money to kick start her business. The small family loan from her mother and aunt enabled her to broker contracts between aviation services and those with air-transport needs.
Ultimately, with her impressive education history and work experience in human resources from various organisations like De Beers, City Power; Sambo started her airline company. In 2004, Sambo invited her sister to be a partner in her aviation firm.
After the invitation tendered by the South African government for aviation firms to bid on a contract for cargo transport, Sambo was on course for success. The contract was awarded as a joint venture between SRS and another firm. Although a collaborative project offered a golden opportunity to wade into the industry, the other firm soon withdrew, leaving Sambo to learn the contracting process on her own.
Speaking on her experience as a fresh-blood in the aviation industry, Sambo said “It was very challenging.  I had to learn the different background operational needs before a flight. I had to call around and find out from different people what I needed to do. Even the clients themselves assisted me because they had run (similar) contracts before.” Such was the challenges she faced and how she overcome some of them.
“Most people saw (my entry) as very awkward, and initially, people never took me seriously. I had to prove myself more than 10 times.” Ultimately, Sambo got her message across as she said: “I told them I’m here, I’m here to stay, I’m here to grow this business, and I’m here to make changes as well, because I’m young, I’m very innovative and I want to bring a new spice into the industry.”
In addition, the aviation industry did not have many young, female or black entrepreneurs. In this, Sambo said:”My background gives me that platform to become a strong woman. I started living away from my parents from the age of five or six, which gave me a lot of independence. For me, managing in an environment that is very male dominated just comes naturally. It comes from a confidence and willingness to learn, but also from the willingness to make mistakes, learn from them and move on.”
“Being able to penetrate a male-dominated industry has been a career highlight.” she says.
In June 2010, SRS first Aviation shop opened at SA airports and since then SRS has opened a chain of retail shops in South Africa airports.
Doing this hasn’t always been easy, she admits, “but as soon as men are aware that you’re as intelligent as or more intelligent than they are, they take you seriously”, she says. “So I stay knowledgeable; I read continuously and attend conferences and industry events regularly.”
She admitted that “Being able to communicate with people at different levels has probably benefited me most in my career.”
Sambo is known for having the knack to taking advantage of opportunities. Her ability to network targets has also helped her as a successful entrepreneur in South Africa aviation industry.
Her company also has an Air Operating Certificate by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), making her company the first black operational enterprise to be given full rights to undertake commercial flying activities.
Aside from being an entrepreneur, Sambo doubles as a Motivational Speaker. She mentors youngsters as well as business man and women in Africa. The ambitious and self driven entrepreneur has been able to generate job opportunities and empower women from previously disadvantaged background.
Sambo is affiliated with several associations including the South African Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN) – an organisation that promotes youth and women empowerment globally; Business Women Association (BWA) and she is part of a team that is establishing the Southern African Woman in Aviation a non-profit making company that will encourage women to enter the field of Aviation in different levels; offer bursaries and scholarships towards Aviation related training etc. Sibongile is a board member of SAWIA.
She also has a strategic relationship with Women of Color in Aviation & Aerospace in the United States of America. She is also a member of Women in Aviation International (WAI), the Black Management Forum (BMF), the Enterprise Development Forum, FABCOS (CHAMSA) and Fly South – just to mention a few.
A Member Think-Tank of the World Entrepreneurship Forum (WEF), founded in France by French president, Nicolas Sakorzy and EMLYON Business School; Sambo is also part of a team establishing a South African chapter of the NGO Women in Aviation International, and was featured in the World Bank report Doing Business: Women in Africa.
She is a beneficiary of the month-long mentorship program in the United States for international businesswomen, featuring a mentorship assignment with one of FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women with the Honourable Hillary Rodham Clinton as one of the founders of the programme.
Her efforts have been rewarded over the years. In 2006 she cleaned up the awards table, taking home the Regional Business Woman of the Year award, the Black Women in Business award in London, the SRS Aviation Fidentia Award and the Top Emerging Gender Empowered Company award.
In 2007, Sambo was named a Leader of Tomorrow by the Fortune Magazine. In 2009 she was nominated for the Queen Victoria Memorial Award (International Socrates Award) by the Europe Business Assembly in London. In 2009 she has been nominated for the Queen Victoria Memorial Award (International Socrates Award) by the Europe Business Assembly in London.
“These awards show that I’m heading in the right direction. It also means that the business of aviation is my playground. I plan to take SRS Aviation to greater heights and become the leader in this business.”

 

Friday, November 23, 2012

RB female pilot's record in SE Asia

From the Brunei Times:  RB female pilot's record in SE Asia

The article is actually just a series of photos. Go to the original link to see them.

I share just one here.

  • The first female captain of Royal Brunei Airlines (RB), Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy (4R) in a group photo with the guest of honour Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman (3L), Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. Also in the picture are permanent secretary at Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Hj Mohd Rozan Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos (2R), Captain Sharifah Czarena Surainy's family members and Deputy Chief Operating Officer Captain of RB, Khalidkhan (2L).

 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Flying into history: first female pilot assigned to the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds

The headline writer of the article below gets it wrong. Nicole Malachowski, several years ago, was the first woman Thunderbirds pilot. I think this woman is the first woman Reservist to become a pilot, as the body of the article says.

From 14News.com:  Flying into history: first female pilot assigned to the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds.

MIAMI (WTVJ/NBC) - Shattering the glass ceiling is one thing.
Breaking the sound barrier is another.
Maj. Caroline Jensen has done both, becoming the first female reservist demonstration pilot in U.S. Air Force Thunderbird history.
"I joined the Reserves not knowing that I would ever be able to be a Thunderbird one day, but the opportunity presented itself to me about a year and a half ago and I'm really proud to be here," she said.
Jensen is what they call "Thunderbird 3."
She serves as the team's right wing pilot, flying just a few inches from the flight leader in the diamond and delta formations.
She has flown for the last 17 years, piloting everything from the T-37 and T-38 to the F-16.
"I was flying as a T-38 instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in a reserve unit there when I got picked up to come to the Thunderbirds," Jensen said.
Jensen says still gets that sense of excitement before taking flight
Jensen said that as a young girl growing up in Wisconsin, the Thunderbirds motivated her to become an Air Force officer - and since she's reached her goal, she's honored to inspire the next generation of Air Force airmen.
"Whatever your dream is in life, go for it. Just pick something,surround yourself with people who can help you achieve that dream, and go for it."





 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teenager, 16, becomes youngest girl to fly a plane after learning because she was bored in school holidays

From SWS.com:  Teenager, 16, becomes youngest girl to fly a plane after learning because she was bored in school holidays

A 16-year-old has become the youngest girl in Britain to pilot an aeroplane solo – after learning to fly because she was bored in her school holidays.
Gutsy Rachael Spelling has already racked up 50 hours flying time at the controls of a four-seater Pipe Archer aeroplane.
The high flyer first took to the skies aged just 14 when she took an accompanied lesson to alleviate the boredom of the long summer holidays.
Britain's youngest female pilot Rachael  Speller next to the plane she learned to fly in the school holidays while she was bored
Britain’s youngest female pilot Rachael Speller next to the plane she learned to fly in the school holidays while she was bored
She notched up enough training and experience to fly solo as soon as she turned 16 – the minimum legal age for flying alone.
Fearless Rachael shot straight up to 2,000ft (610m) above Panshanger Aerodrome, Herts., wowing her instructor and pals – but terrifying her parents.
Because she took her first solo flight on her 16th birthday she is believed to be the youngest girl in Britain to ever fly a plane alone.
Rachael, a pupil at exclusive Bishop’s Stortford College, now regularly flies on her own – despite being a year away from being allowed to drive a car.
She admitted she is addicted to the “rush” and feeling of “freedom” she gets from flying alone.
The teenager at the controls of a four-seater Pipe Archer aeroplane
The teenager at the controls of a four-seater Pipe Archer aeroplane
She said: “My dad suggested different ideas because I was at a loose end in the summer holidays and couldn’t get a part-time job.
“So I went and tried flying for the day, I absolutely loved it and decided that I wanted to be a pilot and learn how to fly on my own.
“I did my first solo flight literally to the minute that I turned 16.
“I was sitting on the run away on my own and I thought ‘I can’t believe I’m going to do this’.
“I was looking out at the runway in front of me and it dawned on me that I’m not old enough to drive but here I was about to fly in the sky.
“I think I am one of the youngest girls in Britain to fly a plane – I absolutely love it.
“It is amazing you can’t match the feeling of flying, you accelerate and you feel the rush as you go up.
“I am a member of the Air Cadets and because I have already racked up around 50 hours of flying I am allowed my ‘wings’.”
She added: “I think it freaked my mum out a little bit and dad was secretly panicking – it definitely makes my parents nervous, but they are excited for me.
“Both my parents have been really supportive of my hobby and trust the instructors at Panshanger Aerodrome to have taught me everything I need to know.”
Rachael, who boards at her school during term time, first took up flying when she complained of boredom at home two summers ago, aged just 14.
After 22 months of flying she decided to go it alone and piloted her first solo flight on her 16th birthday, on October 28.
The Air cadet, who takes her GCSEs next summer, is currently training for her Private Pilot License (PPL) but is unable to complete it until she turns 17.
Rachael hopes to study maths, physics, geography and psychology at A Level at her £21,000-a-year school, from next September.
Dad John Speller, 65, a landlord for a series of industrial units, said he was really proud of his daughter.
He said: “It all started with wanting something to do on a Sunday afternoon.
“It is great that she is able to fly alone, as her parents we put all of our trust in the instructors at Panshanger, if they didn’t think she was ready they wouldn’t send her up.
“The first time is always nerve racking but it is only like the first time you sit with your child behind the wheel of a car.
“She is sensible and she loves it – we are very proud of her.”
She then hopes to go on to do her Commercial Pilot License (CPL), at the same time as her A-levels, which would allow her to fly commercial planes.
Rachael, who lives in Benington, Herts., said: “One day I hope to fly for Richard Branson, I want to work for one of the major airlines and fly private jets.
“I thought about joining the RAF but I’d rather go into commercial flying as it suits my lifestyle better. I did a 737 simulator and really enjoyed it.
“My brother, Mark, was very much into car rallying so I think between us we have kept our parents on their toes. The funny thing is my sister, Lauren, is petrified of flying.”

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

1 Aug 1929: What's in the News, on the front page

From the Bellingham (WA) Herald - evening edition

The over-arcing headline: Graf Zeppelin fighting strong headwinds over France (on its round the world flight)

The sub-heading of the article was: Big dirigible again headed for US.

There is a Northwest Fair held in Bellingham that was getting a lot of publicity.

Pilots Loren Mendell  and Pete Reinhardt had been supplied with a plane to make an endurance flight at Culver City, but Eleanor  Merry filed a suit preventing them from taking off. She'd been injured in a crash landing with Mendell as the pilot, and was suing him for $28,000.

Other headlines on front page:
  • Prices slashed on British Columbia Shingles
  • Appointment of Tax Commission that will attempt to untangle involved system, expected soon (regarding Washington state's complicated tax system)
  • 250 Men Fighting forest fires in district
  • Appeal is planned: Northwest Lumbermen to Ask Hoover's Assistance
  • Gruber rules out Carlisle - PAF Dispute - (something to do with something called the Alsop Trap)
  • Bob Martin, Seattle Flyer, Says he will attempt hop to Tokyo soon
  • Chicago syndicate of bomb makers unearthed
  • European capitals keeping eye on radicals: Communists reported to be planning "anti-war day" demonstrations today
  • Although choosing an unofficial successor, Thomas A. Edison states he has no intention of resigning
  • Larceny is charged; Seattle cigar store owner is facing trial







The papers have arrived!

I do indeed have the entire month of August 1929.

There's also a packet of articles cut out of papers -  none of which have dates on them!!! What idiot did that, I'd like to know.

The papers are both disappointing and happy-making.

The seller had provided about 20 photos of the papers. I'd assumed that these photos were just *samples* of what was in the paper,s but what they actually were was *all* of what was in the papers.

But the papers themselves were pretty interesting - women were getting in trouble for wearing dresses without stockings, there was trouble between Arabs and Jews in Palestine, and there were murders and robberies just like there are today.

I'll be sharing news of August 1929 in future posts.

Indiana: Air race pilots will visit MC airport

This actually happened on Saturday, Aug 17, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

From the News Dispatch.com:  Air race pilots will visit MC airport

MICIGAN CITY — Janice Welsh and Margaret Wint, two pilots who participated in the annual, all-female Air Race Classic (ARC), will be at the Michigan City Airport on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m. to speak about their experiences participating in the June 2012 race.

The ARC is part of a national tradition that began back in 1929 with the First Women's Air Derby, which involved 20 women pilots, who raced from Santa Monica, Calif. to Cleveland, Ohio.

"Historically, the women were originally racing with the men, but began winning and... were banned, so the women had no choice but to initiate their own race," Welsh said. "Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden and Phoebe Omalie were some of the earliest of the female racers."

Female racing continued through the 1930s and beyond with the All Women's Transcontinental Air Race (AWTAR), which was eventually discontinued in 1977, when the tradition was taken up by the ARC.



Welsh, who is from La Porte, and Wint, who is from Grand Rapids, Mich., both belong to Ninety-Nines, Inc., an International Organization of Women Pilots, and they met through the organization's local Indiana Dunes chapter.

When they are not flying, Welsh is an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay and a speech-language pathologist, and Wint helps manage the local airport in Ionia, Mich.

Welsh said she learned to fly at the Porter County Airport in Valparaiso with her husband because they "wanted to be able to get to Pennsylvania to visit family quicker than driving."

As the first race for both pilots, Welsh said it tested their skills as pilots and their ability to fly as a team.

"I have flown for 20 years with my husband and we always determine before each trip, who is PIC, pilot in command, and who runs the radios, navigates, etc.," Welsh said. "Early on, I became responsible for getting a daily weather briefing and mapping our route each day. Maybe 85 percent of the teams used iPads for their navigating. We used all paper maps. Margaret was designated PIC, but there were times when it would take two of us to get the plane down to the 200 feet off the deck for the flyby, because at full-throttle, the plane is going at a very fast speed, [and] ...we had to watch that we didn't red-line the airspeed."

The ARC changes its route every year. In 2012, the race was 2,600 miles long and started in Lake Havasu, Ariz. and included flybys in New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan, before ending in Batavia, Ohio.


Unlike most races, the winner of the ARC is not always the first to cross the finish line; rather, pilots are given a handicapped speed, and their goal is to have their flying speed exceed the actual ground speed by as much as possible.

Welsh and Wint finished in second to last place, but Welsh was upbeat about the outcome.

"They always say if you finish this race, you are a winner; so we were happy to be finishers," Welsh said.

On Saturday, Welsh and Wint will talk more about their experiences in the race, share photos and tell how they prepared for it. Hopefully, Welsh said, they will encourage other young women to consider the challenge of becoming a pilot.

To learn more about the history of the ARC, visit www.airraceclassic.org

 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Modern Marine Couple: Let Women into Combat Units

From Time:  Modern Marine Couple: Let Women into Combat Units

Marines will react to male and female Marines serving alongside one another in combat as they have reacted to openly gay men and women serving in their ranks: no big deal.
That’s the argument a pair of Marines – married to each other — make in the latest issue of Proceedings, the sea services’ independent journal. Dropping the ban on women serving in combat slots “will most likely have a similar effect” as ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” write Major Chris Haynie, an infantry officer and Major Jeanette Haynie, an AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship pilot.
They maintain:
The implication that no woman can perform ably in combat, regardless of personal strengths and abilities, bleeds into every corner of the Corps today. If women cannot perform in combat, as the policy clearly declares, what else can’t they do? That is the unanswered question that the policy begs asking. It drags into question the capabilities of female Marines serving in every other MOS, placing an asterisk in boldface type after each “USMC.” This can result in highly negative consequences that damage the unit cohesion that we seek to cultivate, especially in combat. We have experienced this firsthand.
The Pentagon’s current combat-exclusion policy designed to keep women out of infantry, armor and other ground-combat units “institutionalizes the concept that all male Marines, based on gender alone, are capable of performing duties in the combat arms, while all female Marines similarly are not.”
They argue that, like the gay ban, the notion of women in combat doesn’t generate the same concern among today’s Marines — 62% of the force is 25 or younger — as it does for earlier generations of Marines. Besides, they add, a decade of war has shown that the logic of the policy no longer makes sense.

 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Contemporary newspaper articles about the 1929 Powder Puff Derby

The man who put together the documentary on Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club had done much research, including acquiring newspapers from the Bellingham Herald for the entire month of August, 1929, the month the first Powder Puff Derby took place in which Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, Pancho Barnes, Marvel Crosson and many other women participated.

He offered it on Ebay and I bought it.

I'm actually not sure what I'm getting but if I understood it right, it's a big old binder full of the complete sets of newspapers for those months. 

*I* think that these things are collectors items that should go into a museum, and my intention - if they are what I think they are - is to frame them under archival glass and see if I can't get my local airport to create a display space for them.

Ultimately, however, I do intend to donate them to the International Women's Air and Space Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Also apparently included are several cut-out articles (rather than complete newspapers) of the women pilots in that same time frame.

The guy lives in California and sent the box to me media mail (I hope it's in a box, double boxed and waterproofed!) so instead of heading directly for Cheyenne where I live - and it could have been here in 3 days if the USPS had done that.... media mail apparently necessitates going from California to Texas and then up here to Cheyenne. Ebay finally updated the tracking of it and it is now in Denver...but it's not going to show up on my doorstep until Wednesday!

So, four more days of suspense until I see these things for real. I hope I can do with them what I want to do with them...

(And if any of my readers know anything about proper archiving of almost 90 year old newspapers, please drop me a line!)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Women Veterans Achievements Recognized at Ceremony Frida

From KTVA Alaska:  Women Veterans Achievements Recognized at Ceremony Frida

ANCHORAGE - When Jean White enlisted in the military back in 1944 she wanted to work in aviation. She was a pilot before joining the miltiary and wanted to work with the planes. Her first choice was joining the women Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs, but a height restriction kept her out.
She was content as an aviation mechanic until her superior had a change of heart. "He said it wasn't ladylike, so he took us off the flight line." White says she wasn't happy about it, but she embraced her new role in supply. She didn't let a setback like that deter her military career, either. She served seven more years, became an officer and was in the Air Force a total of 26 years.
On Friday, she watched a young captain, Niki Martin, speak to a room of women veterans. Martin has been deployed to a war zone twice in the Army. She said even in the five and a half years she's served, she's seen more opportunities for women. She mentioned the consideration of sending women to arduous Army Ranger training and the Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan. These are teams of women that enter villages and meet with women to help gather information.
The obstacles faced by female soldiers have been more than denied promotions. Up until the '70s, a pregnant woman would be automatically discharged, a fact that one vet told me meant a woman choosing between an abortion and the military. Even now, one in five women say that during their service they are sexually assaulted or sexually harrassed.
At a recognition ceremony on Friday, the vets weren't focused on the negative. They acknowledged the unique challenges they faced, but focused on their achievements.



 

Fly girls of WWII: Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight

From The Republic:  Fly girls of WWII: Arvada WASP pilot recaptures legacy of Fifinella with biplane flight

DENVER — The first female military pilots in U.S. history — women including Lucile Wise of Arvada — signed up during World War II and trained to fly bombers and fighters such as the legendary P-51 Mustang.
The U.S. Army Air Forces didn't have enough pilots, so women were recruited for military flying jobs stateside to free up men to fly combat missions overseas.
Seventy years after her pilot training, Wise strapped herself into the open cockpit of a 1942 Boeing-Stearman biplane, used as a military trainer during the war.
The 92-year-old wore goggles, a headset and a borrowed leather bomber jacket. Excited, she grinned as the pilot fired up the engine.
When the canary-yellow biplane roared down the runway, a former Air Force pilot watched in awe.
"Fifinella flies again," said Greg Anderson, president and chief executive of Wings Over the Rockies, as the plane rose into the warm afternoon sky earlier this week. "The legacy lives on."
Fifinella — a female gremlin designed by Walt Disney that appeared in many World War II cartoons — was the official mascot of the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Her image appeared on the noses of bombers and on the flight jackets of 1,074 women, including Wise.
"These ladies were way ahead of their time," he said. "Individually, and as a group, they have a piece of history we will never be able to experience. They paved the way and proved it could be done."
These women will be honored at the 10th annual gala of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on Dec. 21, which will feature many WASP pilots, including seven who live in Colorado. The traveling exhibit, "Fly Girls of WWII," runs through March at the museum.
In an era when the dominant role for women was to stay at home serving as wives and mothers, the opportunity to train as military pilots opened a door to women like Wise, who had dropped out of Colorado Women's College and was working in Wichita.
"We all wanted to do something to help the war effort. All my women friends were joining the military," Wise said. "I did it for a lark, to add a little excitement to my life."
She took her first flying lesson Dec. 6, 1941 — the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor — because someone had taken her up in a Piper Cub.
Once behind the controls, Wise was hooked.
By 1943, Jackie Cochran — a beautician who became America's top female pilot — had established the WASPs at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt.
More than 25,000 women applied to the program, and fewer than 1,900 were accepted into the training program at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas.
Wise's classmates included Gertrude "Tommy" Tompkins, whose fighter went down along the California coast soon after takeoff Oct. 26, 1944, and has never been found.
"We never dwelled on it," said Wise. "We were too busy."
The pilots flew a total of 60 million miles in two years. Thirty-eight women died during their service, an accident rate comparable to male pilots doing the same job.
WASPs flew military planes from factories to bases, trained male pilots, towed targets for gunnery practices and tested planes.
Two WASPs were also used to convince male pilots it was safe to fly the B-29. Men resisted flying the new heavy bomber because it hadn't received rigorous testing, and its engines tended to catch fire.
Col. Paul Tibbets recruited two WASPs to serve as demo pilots, and after three days of training, the women powered up the four-engine bomber and ferried around the men.
"They flew it, no problem," said Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, one of the most decorated women in military history, now president of the board of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation. "They thought it was great. That ended the (men's) fear of flying that plane."
The WASPs were disbanded in late 1944, receiving a letter of thanks from Henry Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces.
The war had reached a point "when your services are no longer needed," he said. "The situation is that if you continue in service, you will be replacing instead of releasing our young men."
Most WASPs returned to traditional roles.
"I didn't know what I was going to do. I felt lost," Wise said.
Although the women had been promised that they would be adopted into the military, that never happened. Bills in Congress to militarize the WASPs hit fierce opposition, so they were disbanded with no military benefits and "largely ignored by the U.S. government for more than 30 years," according to the teacher guide of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Wise, who married and raised two children with her husband in Washington, D.C., got fired up in the late 1970s when the Air Force announced that women would be allowed to become military pilots for the first time.
"We got very annoyed," said Wise of the WASPs, who realized they had been totally forgotten by history. "We got organized."
Wise fought for their rights by volunteering in a tiny office at the Army Navy Club in Washington, D.C.
Their demand to be recognized as military veterans faced a united front of tough opponents, including the Veterans Administration, President Jimmy Carter, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Those groups had so much power, and they feared this would open the floodgates," said Wise.
If the WASPs were granted military status, opponents feared, then the other civilian organizations that worked in the war effort would also demand military recognition.
But the WASPs refused to quit, calling their congresspersons and talking to supportive reporters. They gained some key advocates.
"The Pentagon testified in our favor," said Wise. "It was pretty unusual for them to take a position opposite the White House."
Col. Bruce Arnold, the son of commanding Gen. Henry Arnold, also fought for them, as did Sen. Barry Goldwater, himself a World War II pilot.
In 1977, the House and Senate passed a bill that gave WASPs military status and veterans benefits.
And in 2010, the WASPs received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Barack Obama.
"I've been fortunate enough to know a number of WASPs," said Vaught. "They're a breed among themselves. They have a spirit of adventure that just won't quit."