Saturday, December 6, 2014

I'm selling up - to save my Spitfire

I'm selling up - to save my Spitfire: Britain's only practising female Second World War-plane pilot puts £1.25million home on the market to secure her fighter jet: from the Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2863464/Britain-s-practising-female-Second-World-War-plane-pilot-puts-home-market.html

As the only practising female Spitfire pilot in the world, Carolyn Grace is much in demand. During the summer months, she spends every weekend taking part in aerobatic displays across the country.
But looking after her classic fighter plane is an expensive business, so Carolyn has put her six-bedroom home, The Cangle in Halstead, Essex, on the market for £1.25 million to ensure its future is safe.
‘The Spitfire costs about £5,000 an hour to fly and we fly it 70 hours a year,’ she explains. ‘The engine overhaul alone costs £120,000 and has to be carried out every four or so years. You have to keep on top of the maintenance. We need to free up funds. It’s about preserving it for the next generation.’
Saving the plane: Carolyn Grace has put her six-bedroom home, The Cangle in Halstead, Essex, on the market for £1.25 million to ensure the future for her Spitfire fighter aircraft is safe
Saving the plane: Carolyn Grace has put her six-bedroom home, The Cangle in Halstead, Essex, on the market for £1.25 million to ensure the future for her Spitfire fighter aircraft is safe
Although more than 20,000 Spitfires were produced shortly before, during and after the Second World War, the ‘Grace Spitfire’ is one of only a handful to survive today. 
And it is all the more special as it was the first Allied plane to shoot down an enemy aircraft above the Normandy beaches on D-Day.
Carolyn’s passion for the plane stems from her late husband Nick, who bought the aircraft, which required a full rebuild, from a Scottish museum in 1979. 
A design engineer and pilot, Nick set about painstakingly restoring it at St Merryn airfield in Cornwall, a process that took more than five years.
Once the rebuild was finished, the couple moved to West Sussex because the Spitfire needed to be in a more central location to keep down flight times to and from various shows. 
Highflyer: Carolyn Grace, the world's only female spitfire pilot, standing next to her engine in her workshop
Highflyer: Carolyn Grace, the world's only female spitfire pilot, standing next to her engine in her workshop
They found a 100-acre field near Horsham that was perfect, built a workshop/hangar on the site, and also applied for planning permission to build a house.
But tragedy struck before their dreams could be realised when Nick was killed in a car accident in 1988, just three years after getting the Spitfire airborne again.
Carolyn moved with the couple’s young children – Olivia, then five, and Richard, then four – to the family’s current home, and also transported the Spitfire to Duxford airfield near Cambridge.
Although she was already a qualified pilot, she took the intrepid decision to train as a Spitfire pilot, to the shock of many. She is the first woman to have done so since the women of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) service in the Second World War.
Although The Cangle has nine acres, that is not a large enough area to keep the Spitfire. However, the property does have an enormous double-height workshop in the grounds, where the aircraft’s engine is currently awaiting an overhaul.
Although she is from Australia, Carolyn knew this patch of Essex well before she moved there as her aunt and uncle lived locally, while she and Nick were married in 1975 in the nearby village of Great Bardfield.
Expensive hobby: It cost Mrs Grace about £5,000 an hour to fly her Spitfire, and as she flies it it 70 hours a year, she needs to 'free up funds' (stock image)
 ‘It’s an idyllic spot – we’re less than two miles from Halstead but very secluded because our grounds form a horseshoe around the house, and there’s woodland beyond that.
‘I knew as I drove up the lane that I wanted to buy this house. I grew up on a farm so I was brought up on the land – I like the idea of not having neighbours,’ she says.
The Cangle’s sense of history also appealed. Built in the 1550s, it is packed with original features. An earlier structure on the site was mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The house itself was in a poor condition when Carolyn and the children moved in, so she set about installing a new kitchen and knocking down old farm buildings.
Carolyn, 62, spends every weekend from May to September flying at events, including displays at outdoor concerts. ‘You have to fly the Spitfire wholeheartedly,’ she says. ‘The minute you feel you’re not on top of it, you should stop.’
Selling the house will be a wrench, she admits. ‘We have a lot of memories here. I’ll miss the seclusion and the wildlife – stoats in the garden and ducks that come back to our pond every year. But we have always moved with the Spitfire. It has been the priority from the time Nick first brought it home. It is good to know we are continuing to base our lives around ensuring its future.’



 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A 13-year-old Top Gun

From: http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/local/a--year-old-top-gun/article_120f84c6-a5bb-572e-86df-bf90cb39f940.html

WINCHESTER — Last August, Mariah Stebbins spent a week flying an F/A-18 Hornet military fighter jet. She withstood powerful G-forces in a centrifuge, and was crowned Top Gun — last man standing — in a fierce aerial dog-fight contest.
It’s all part of her training as a future U.S. Air Force pilot. But for now, her military career is on hold. At 13, she isn’t even in high school yet.
“But, after that, I really want to join,” she said.
Stebbins, who lives in Winchester, did it all at a week-long Aviation Challenge camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, it’s the official NASA Visitor Information Center for the renowned Marshall Space Flight Center.
The hands-on, educational program is designed specifically for young people interested in military aviation, and is structured military-style. Mariah was one of only three girls among the nearly 50 participants in her group. She wore a military battle dress uniform, slept in a same-sex barracks resembling a military bay on a space station, and dined in a mess hall while there.
Every day, she worked with a 15-member team. Besides flying a state-of-the-art simulated combat fighter jet, she trained intensively in simulated emergency helicopter crashes and zip-lined into a lake for simulated parachute water landings. She practiced land and water survival skills, and undertook a Navy SEALS special operations search-and-rescue mission.
“I really liked the survival training, and to be able to be in all the different simulators,” she said. “Right before graduation, we did a mission at night. We had to do an army crawl through the woods without being caught.”
Now in 8th grade, she’s a straight-A student at the Winchester School, where she plays on the soccer team. Her father and stepmother, Mike and Angela Stebbins, own a used car sales and service dealership adjacent to the family home, which Mike built. They’re also a military family.
For more than a dozen years, Angela Stebbins has served with the N.H. Air National Guard, and is assigned to Pease Air National Guard Base in Portsmouth. Until recently, she worked in public relations, writing for the base newspaper and quarterly magazine. After completing an accelerated training program in Texas, she’s now a dental assistant at the base. Like her peers, she’s on duty one weekend per month, and two weeks per year. She plans to continue until she meets the 20-year service requirement for retirement.
Mariah wants to follow in her footsteps, except as a full-time Air Force combat pilot.
“She’s seen everything the military has done for our family, and the opportunity it presents for her down the road,” said Angela Stebbins. “She has what it takes.”
A military career requires attention to detail and determination,” she said. “When Mariah puts her mind to something she doesn’t give up, she doesn’t quit. She’s very reliable and trustworthy, and shows excellence in all that she does. And, she has a passion for flying.”
Mariah may have her stepmother’s proclivity for the military, but it was her father who inspired her love of flying, by chance. Several years ago, she rode along with him wide-eyed when he took an introductory flying lesson at Dillant-Hopkins Airport. He’s since taken one or two more. Not long after, her older brother Dylan, who now lives in Massachusetts, applied to the aviation camp program, but soon backed out.
She wanted to go in his place, but was only in 4th grade. Too young, she had to wait. A year later, she attended a basic level session, and returned in August 2014 for the more intensive mid-level program, where she won “Top Gun” above all participants.
To cover expenses, she applied for a scholarship from the Military Child Education Coalition, a global nonprofit group that provides educational opportunities to children in military families. Not only did the group award her a grant to the aviation program, including expenses, it gave her a second scholarship to the center’s robotics camp the following week.
“It was really different going from aviation to robotics,” she said. “We built and programmed robots and competed in tasks. Robotics was fun, but I liked aviation much more. It was just different.”
No one’s prouder than her dad.
“I’m a little jealous,” he joked. “I think it’s great. She really does a lot of things. I can’t imagine when I was her age flying on an airplane by myself to Alabama for a couple of weeks. She loved it.”
Several months ago, she joined the Monadnock Civil Air Patrol, now faithfully attends weekly meetings, and recently earned her first promotion from cadet to airman. She’s also working towards her private pilot’s license at Dillant-Hopkins Airport. Already, she’s taken a glider flight and has flown a small plane.
Things just fell into line, says Angela Stebbins.
“First she discovered her interest in flying,” she said. “Then she got the scholarship to the aviation program. Then the Civil Air Patrol, which had been inactive for a long time, suddenly started up again. It all just came together.
“We try to balance things as much as we can,” she said. “We want her to enjoy childhood, but we also want to set her up on a good path for the future.”
But, flying’s not Mariah’s only passion. She’s also a competitive race car driver.
Every Saturday from April through September, she drives the No. 10 car in the Young Gun division, ages 12 to 15, at Monadnock Speedway. She’s part of the RAD team (Race Against Drugs), a group of young volunteers who promote a healthy drug-free lifestyle for youth through racing, and raise awareness of drug abuse and prevention in the Monadnock Region. RAD is an offshoot of the National Center for Prevention and Research Solutions program in Florida.
She hasn’t finished in the top three spots yet, but really enjoys the sport, and advocacy work.
“There are quite a few girls involved,” she said. “I’ll probably do it through high school as much as I can.”
Mariah starts high school next year. Today, she and her family are touring the Milton Hershey School, a private residential high school in Pennsylvania, founded by the chocolate magnate. Her stepmother thinks she’d love what it offers. Mariah isn’t so sure. She thinks she’d rather stay close to home and family, and go to Keene High School, she says.
No matter what her choice, Elizabeth Lounder, her homeroom teacher at Winchester School, believes that she’ll excel.
“Mariah is very mature for her age,” she said. “She’s very quiet and unassuming. If it weren’t for us bragging about what she did last summer, no one would ever know.
“She never tries to impress anyone. She’s just quietly pursuing what she wants to do,” she said. “She brings a lot of grace and maturity to whatever she does. If this is what she’s doing at this age, I can’t wait to see her future.”
One thing Mariah’s certain about is returning to the aviation camp in Alabama. She hopes to get another scholarship within a couple of years for the advanced and final program. She wants to be an Air Force pilot.
About that, she’s absolutely clear.
“It’s something I already know a lot about,” she said. “It’s what I really want to do.”

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Woman with New Hampshire ties to head Air Force in Pacific

Non - pilot to lead the Air Force

From: http://www.wmur.com/news/woman-with-new-hampshire-ties-to-head-air-force-in-pacific/29178974

HONOLULU —President Barack Obama has selected the first female non-pilot to head the U.S. Air Force in the Pacific.

At a packed ceremony in Hawaii, Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson received the highest rank in the U.S. Air Force -- four-star general.
 
Robinson, a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, will replace a veteran pilot who is moving to another post.

“I realize that there is no other command more important to our nation’s security and defense,” Robinson said.

Robinson is the second woman in the Air Force to earn the four-star general rank and is the first woman to command combat forces in the Air Force.

The general she is replacing, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, said Robinson is more than able to fill the new role.
“She is absolutely capable at everything she does,” Carlisle said. “And as importantly, she is always there for every one of her brothers and sisters in the Air Force.”

Robinson’s father lives in Jackson, New Hampshire. She entered the Air Force in 1982 through the ROTC program at UNH.

Robinson said she hopes her early training in the Granite State will help her protect the world.
“Our international friendships have never been more important than today as we endeavor to safeguard and continue an environment that has fostered prosperity in the region and the world over the past decade,” she said.

Monday, October 6, 2014

In her father's flight path: Boom operator discovered air refueling at 15

From Air Force Times: http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20141005/NEWS/310050021/In-her-father-s-flight-path-Boom-operator-discovered-air-refueling-15

In January 2005, the Repp family boarded a Hawaii-bound KC-135 Stratotanker to escape a bitter-cold winter at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.
Aboard that space-available flight, Danielle, the second of three Repp children, climbed up front, put on a headset and watched an air refueling mission for the first time. She was 15.
Her father, now-retired Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Repp, had spent his entire 30-year career as a boom operator.
“It kind of clicked — that’s the job for me,” Danielle said of the experience.
She decided to head to college after high school and major in business. But the memory of the refueling mission lingered. In 2009, Danielle saw her older sister, Taryn, join the Air Force, become a medical technician and get stationed overseas.
“I was watching all that. I watched her tech school graduation,” Danielle said. “I saw all these opportunities in the Air Force.”
In 2012, three years after Taryn headed to basic, Danielle decided she, too, would enlist. Her No. 1 career choice: boom operator.
That she’d joined the Air Force at all surprised her dad. He’d tried not to push his children toward any particular career path. The military, Daniel had told them, was one of many options.
Now his two eldest children were beginning their Air Force careers just as his ended. Daniel had spent his first two years out of high school working. He joined the service in 1981 because, he said, “I was really looking to be part of something bigger, a greater cause.”
He went in without a job assignment and no clear idea of what he wanted to do. “While at basic training, they pull you aside and tell you these are the must-fill jobs and hard-to-fill jobs and see who might like to volunteer. I knew nothing about air refueling,” the retired chief said, but he signed up anyway.
“It was an exciting adventure” that took him to bases in Michigan, Oklahoma, California, New Jersey and Washington, he said. Daniel served as an instructor, squadron and group superintendent and a numbered Air Force evaluator before retiring from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, in 2011 as Air Mobility Command’s functional manager.
When Danielle announced she was joining the Air Force, “we talked about all sorts of different jobs” in the service, he said. “I really wanted it to be her decision. I stayed away from trying to bias her. It was her choice. I gave her all the information I could, introduced her to people in various jobs.”
But Danielle was sure she wanted to refuel planes like her father.
“He was beyond ecstatic,” she said of her dad’s reaction.
Today, Danielle, a senior airman, serves as a boom operator with the 351st Air Refueling Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, England. Mindful of how watching the refueling mission at 15 impacted her life, she calls up tanker passengers to get a glimpse of the task as often as she can.
Father and daughter talk at least twice a week, their conversations often centered around work.
Being a boom operator “is very different for her in many ways. The mission is very different. What tankers do today is very dynamic. Schedules change rapidly. They’re all over the world doing work,” Daniel said.
He entered the Air Force during the Cold War when the focus was on nuclear deterrence. “Deterring the bad guys meant tanker and bomber crews sat alert for a week, in a facility adjacent to our loaded aircraft, separated from our families, waiting to launch at a moment’s notice. Every third week was a week on alert,” he wrote in an email.
“One thing that hasn’t changed is tankers are often in the background. They’re not on the front page,” Daniel said.
The Repp family’s Air Force story isn’t over yet.
Jacob Repp, the youngest, heads to basic training in January. He’s been selected to become an airborne linguist.
“I’m very proud of my girls and my son. I think they are not only doing what they enjoy, but the work has meaning and purpose,” Daniel said. “Sometimes, things work out better than one can hope.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ninety Nines return to Warwick for annual picnic and meeting

Ninety Nines return to Warwick for annual picnic and meeting

Poor weather on Saturday, Sept. 6, may have prevented some of the ladies of the North New Jersey Chapter of the "Ninety-Nines" from flying into Warwick Municipal Airport in their own airplanes for the organization's annual picnic and meeting. But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.
"Holding our annual picnic at Warwick Airport has become a tradition," said recently elected Chapter Chair Shannon Osborne, who usually flies her own single engine Cessna 182 to the event. "We'll be back every year, for sure."
The "Ninety-Nines" has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
The world famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the "Ninety Nines" in 1929.
The organization 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 almost 90 members of the 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).
Five years ago, their "Ninety-Nines" display in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was completed and open to visitors.
- See more at: http://warwickadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140923/NEWS01/140929990/Ninety-Nines-return-to-Warwick-for-annual-picnic-and-meeting#sthash.A8HHSVfV.dpu
WARWICK — Poor weather on Saturday, Sept. 6, may have prevented some of the ladies of the North New Jersey Chapter of the "Ninety-Nines" from flying into Warwick Municipal Airport in their own airplanes for the organization's annual picnic and meeting. But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.
"Holding our annual picnic at Warwick Airport has become a tradition," said recently elected Chapter Chair Shannon Osborne, who usually flies her own single engine Cessna 182 to the event. "We'll be back every year, for sure."
The "Ninety-Nines" has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
The world famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the "Ninety Nines" in 1929.
The organization 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 almost 90 members of the 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).
Five years ago, their "Ninety-Nines" display in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was completed and open to visitors.
Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey is dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey's aviation and space heritage. The emphasis of the North New Jersey Chapter's display and video presentations is on the role of women pilots in modern times rather than the early history of the organization.
This past year, for example, one of its members, Marilyn Patierno, completed the 38th annual "Air Race Classic," a four day, 2,200 nautical mile flight from Concord, California to Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
Osborne, who served on the ground at each end of the event as a volunteer, reported that this was no easy task since very bad , including icing conditions and tornadoes en route, had forced many of the fliers to drop out of the race.
The annual picnic in September is the Chapter's official kick-off for the year's activities, including one on Oct. 11 at Lincoln Park Airport in New Jersey when the Chapter will host "Pennies-a-Pound."
"As part of our mission to educate and share the aviation experience with the community, we'll be offering airplane rides for 35 pennies a pound to a maximum of $50 per person," said Osborne. "Everyone can enjoy the beauty and exhilaration of a ride in a general aviation airplane."
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 additional information visit: www.nj99.org.

Poor weather on Saturday, Sept. 6, may have prevented some of the ladies of the North New Jersey Chapter of the "Ninety-Nines" from flying into Warwick Municipal Airport in their own airplanes for the organization's annual picnic and meeting. But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.
"Holding our annual picnic at Warwick Airport has become a tradition," said recently elected Chapter Chair Shannon Osborne, who usually flies her own single engine Cessna 182 to the event. "We'll be back every year, for sure."
The "Ninety-Nines" has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
The world famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the "Ninety Nines" in 1929.
The organization 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 almost 90 members of the 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).
Five years ago, their "Ninety-Nines" display in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was completed and open to visitors.
- See more at: http://warwickadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140923/NEWS01/140929990/Ninety-Nines-return-to-Warwick-for-annual-picnic-and-meeting#sthash.A8HHSVfV.dpuf
Poor weather on Saturday, Sept. 6, may have prevented some of the ladies of the North New Jersey Chapter of the "Ninety-Nines" from flying into Warwick Municipal Airport in their own airplanes for the organization's annual picnic and meeting. But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.
"Holding our annual picnic at Warwick Airport has become a tradition," said recently elected Chapter Chair Shannon Osborne, who usually flies her own single engine Cessna 182 to the event. "We'll be back every year, for sure."
The "Ninety-Nines" has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
The world famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the "Ninety Nines" in 1929.
The organization 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 almost 90 members of the 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).
Five years ago, their "Ninety-Nines" display in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was completed and open to visitors.
- See more at: http://warwickadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140923/NEWS01/140929990/Ninety-Nines-return-to-Warwick-for-annual-picnic-and-meeting#sthash.A8HHSVfV.dpuf
Poor weather on Saturday, Sept. 6, may have prevented some of the ladies of the North New Jersey Chapter of the "Ninety-Nines" from flying into Warwick Municipal Airport in their own airplanes for the organization's annual picnic and meeting. But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.
"Holding our annual picnic at Warwick Airport has become a tradition," said recently elected Chapter Chair Shannon Osborne, who usually flies her own single engine Cessna 182 to the event. "We'll be back every year, for sure."
The "Ninety-Nines" has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
The world famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the "Ninety Nines" in 1929.
The organization 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 almost 90 members of the 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).
Five years ago, their "Ninety-Nines" display in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was completed and open to visitors.
Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey is dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey's aviation and space heritage. The emphasis of the North New Jersey Chapter's display and video presentations is on the role of women pilots in modern times rather than the early history of the organization.
This past year, for example, one of its members, Marilyn Patierno, completed the 38th annual "Air Race Classic," a four day, 2,200 nautical mile flight from Concord, California to Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
Osborne, who served on the ground at each end of the event as a volunteer, reported that this was no easy task since very bad , including icing conditions and tornadoes en route, had forced many of the fliers to drop out of the race.
The annual picnic in September is the Chapter's official kick-off for the year's activities, including one on Oct. 11 at Lincoln Park Airport in New Jersey when the Chapter will host "Pennies-a-Pound."
"As part of our mission to educate and share the aviation experience with the community, we'll be offering airplane rides for 35 pennies a pound to a maximum of $50 per person," said Osborne. "Everyone can enjoy the beauty and exhilaration of a ride in a general aviation airplane."
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 additional information visit: www.nj99.org.
- See more at: http://warwickadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140923/NEWS01/140929990/Ninety-Nines-return-to-Warwick-for-annual-picnic-and-meeting#sthash.A8HHSVfV.dpuf
Poor weather on Saturday, Sept. 6, may have prevented some of the ladies of the North New Jersey Chapter of the "Ninety-Nines" from flying into Warwick Municipal Airport in their own airplanes for the organization's annual picnic and meeting. But that didn't dampen the spirits of those who attended.
"Holding our annual picnic at Warwick Airport has become a tradition," said recently elected Chapter Chair Shannon Osborne, who usually flies her own single engine Cessna 182 to the event. "We'll be back every year, for sure."
The "Ninety-Nines" has been home to women pilots since the early days of aviation.
The world famous pilot, Amelia Earhart, its first president, and 98 other early female aviators established the "Ninety Nines" in 1929.
The organization 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 almost 90 members of the 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).
Five years ago, their "Ninety-Nines" display in the Aviation Hall of Fame at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey was completed and open to visitors.
Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey is dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey's aviation and space heritage. The emphasis of the North New Jersey Chapter's display and video presentations is on the role of women pilots in modern times rather than the early history of the organization.
This past year, for example, one of its members, Marilyn Patierno, completed the 38th annual "Air Race Classic," a four day, 2,200 nautical mile flight from Concord, California to Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
Osborne, who served on the ground at each end of the event as a volunteer, reported that this was no easy task since very bad , including icing conditions and tornadoes en route, had forced many of the fliers to drop out of the race.
The annual picnic in September is the Chapter's official kick-off for the year's activities, including one on Oct. 11 at Lincoln Park Airport in New Jersey when the Chapter will host "Pennies-a-Pound."
"As part of our mission to educate and share the aviation experience with the community, we'll be offering airplane rides for 35 pennies a pound to a maximum of $50 per person," said Osborne. "Everyone can enjoy the beauty and exhilaration of a ride in a general aviation airplane."
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 additional information visit: www.nj99.org.
- See more at: http://warwickadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140923/NEWS01/140929990/Ninety-Nines-return-to-Warwick-for-annual-picnic-and-meeting#sthash.A8HHSVfV.dpuf

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oct 3 at IWASM: The Life and Times of Blanche Noyes


Oct 3 - Dinner with a Slice of History - The Life and Times of Blanche Noyes; a Pioneering Aviatrix - 6:30 pm
This talk shares the rich, colorful history of Blanche Noyes, from her beginnings as a local dramatic stage actress to an award winning air race pilot to one of the most accomplished aviation authors. 

Called the Dean of Women Pilots, Blanche Noyes was one of aviation's most passionate advocates. 

Presenter Dan Zaleski is a local aviation researcher. He enjoys talking and sharing about anything that flies. Dinner will be served at 6:30 pm with the presentation to follow. Tickets are $15 non-members, $13 members. Please RSVP soon- seats are limited!

Check out IWASM.org - that's the website of the International Women's Air and Space Museum - for other events: http://iwasm.org/wp-blog/3451-2/ 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lt. Alicia Makoutz deploys as the only female pilot in the Minn. Air Reserves to fly C-130 cargo planes

From MPLS Star tribune: http://www.startribune.com/local/274421721.html

Lt. Alicia Makoutz deploys as the only female pilot in the Minnesota Air Force Reserves to fly C-130 cargo planes.
 
 
Four years ago, 24-year-old Alicia Perry boarded a C-130 cargo plane as a senior airman for the Air Force Reserve. She was heading to Afghanistan on her first deployment. For the long flight over she carried a tote stuffed with playing cards and the latest exercise magazines.

There’ll be plenty to keep her busy Tuesday as she leaves on her second deployment. She’ll be flying the airplane.

Now an officer and sporting her married name on her flight suit, Lt. Alicia Makoutz is the only female pilot in the Minnesota-based Air Force Reserves and one of only a handful flying the large military cargo planes.

She and about 100 other members of the 934th Airlift Wing are scheduled to depart for a 120-day deployment that is likely to include missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The deployment as a pilot fulfills a girlhood dream for Makoutz, whose twin brother is also in the Air Force.

“All growing up, if you asked me what my dream job is, I’d say to be a pilot,” she said. “If you asked me now what my dream job would be? To be a pilot. Not many people can say that.”

Stationed at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan during her first deployment, Makoutz worked on the ground in aviation resource management — military speak for tracking crew members’ training, flight hours and aircraft logs. It was her foot in the door. She learned she was accepted to flight school while in Afghanistan.

There were several flight schools, survival school and officer training school. Her husband, Chris, uprooted his business to be with her during 13 months of pilot schooling in Laredo, Texas.

Much of her training was in full-motion simulators, the higher-tech equivalent of Google maps where trainers load data for a real airfield and the student pilot makes the flight on computer screens, accurate down to the barns whizzing by in the landscape below.

But nothing compared to the first time Makoutz actually flew.

“Finally it came true,” she recalled thinking. “I do remember taking off. In the simulator you don’t have the windows down by your feet. That was the first time I actually saw the ground rush under me. I thought, ‘This is the real deal. I’m actually doing it.’ ”

She has always preferred the idea of piloting the hulking and reliable C-130s over fighter jets. She likes the teamwork required and she speaks affectionately of the deafening but reassuring hum the plane’s four turboprop engines make. At 28, she hopes to make flying the planes a career. She says she has never felt targeted because of her gender.

“It’s not a male/female thing; it’s, ‘Hey, you’re a pilot,’ ” she said. “Some people say, ‘Oh, you’re the only girl pilot over here.’ They just assume there’s negative aspects to it. I’ve never felt that way.”
But the club of female pilots remains an exclusive one. In the active duty Air Force, 720 females make up 5 percent of the 13,811 pilots. In Minnesota, another female pilot is rotating in to the reserve wing and there are two female C-130 pilots flying for the Minnesota Air National Guard.

“There are very few women in the military and much smaller female-to-male ratio in the pilot world,” she said. “It’s not an easy thing to be in. When you see one, you say, ‘Hey, we got one more,’ and just give a thumbs-up.”

Americans still going over

The deployment comes when many at home might think things are winding down after more than a decade of war. But the missions reflect the still-tenuous nature of the area. The Youngstown, Ohio-based unit the group is replacing recently delivered humanitarian cargo to thousands of Iraqi refugees isolated on a mountain after fleeing the Islamic extremist group ISIS.

For security reasons, the Air Force is vague about where the group will be stationed, but they are expected to fly missions delivering people, cargo and humanitarian aid to parts of southwest Asia, including Afghanistan and Iraq, the Horn of Africa, and other parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

OT: Get a Speaker Pod before the rest of the world!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/introducing-the-speaker-pod

This is an OT post about an IndieGoGo campaign called the Speaker Pod. If you love listening to music on your smartphone, you'll love it even more if you listen to it on the speaker pod.

I'm helping out a friend, so please check out his campaign and if you can help - for which you'll receive a Speaker Pod or two, depending on the amount of your pledge, please do so.



If you love to listen to music wherever you go and are tired of carrying cables around, the Speaker Pod is for you!  Join the Pod People!

Speaker Pod represents big sound in a small package. With its innovative acoustic mechanism, Speaker Pod delivers sound that is crisp, clear, and full-bodied. Sound emanates from your phone's speakers and envelops your ears, with no need for wires, cables or Bluetooth!

Our Speaker Pods, which come in snazzy green or basic black, have a starting cost of just $24!
Unlike our first iteration of this technology - the Boom Bx - Speaker Pod is powered by a rechargeable battery. Not having to buy batteries equals a savings cost to the consumer, and is of course a benefit to the environment. All the user has to do is use a mini USB (included) to charge their Speaker Pod.

The Speaker Pod has a simple on/off switch, which is much better than a push button when it comes to quality. (We discovered this with our Boom Bx, which had a push button. We quickly learned that an on/off switch is much more reliable.)

Simply turn the Speaker Pod on. Then, turn on your smartphone or MP3 player  and start playing music. Place this device on the Speaker Pod, and immediately the music, crisp, and clear, will soar out into the room.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Women in Aviation to Honour Captain Koki at Akwaaba

From: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/women-in-aviation-to-honour-captain-koki-at-akwaaba/185661/

In partnership with the organizers of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Women in Aviation (Nigeria) International-Glowing Wings Chapter said it would honor Capt. Irene Koki.
Capt. Irene Koki is the first Woman in the World to captain the World’s newest Plane -the Boeing B787 Dream liner and would yet again receives recognition for her pioneering role in Africa’s Aviation Industry.  She was recognized at Akwaaba in 2009 as the first African Lady Captain of a Commercial Airliner.

Women in Aviation, International with headquarters’ in the USA, is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to the advancement of women in all Aviation career field and interests with over 10,000 Professionals all over the world.

The President of the Glowing Wings Chapter- Mrs Ify Megwa who would be leading her Chapter to the fair said: "We deemed it fit to honour one of our own, Capt. Irene has accomplished a feat no female has ever attained in Africa. In doing this, we are not only recognising her for been exceptional, we hope this will encourage more females to reach extraordinary heights in their Aviation careers and also encourage young women to consider aviation as a career too.

"So, we couldn’t think of a better medium to present this award to her other than Akwaaba, a credible platform that has consistently honored pioneers in Africa over the years."

Rwandan First Female Pilot with Rwandair Esther Mwange will also be honored at the event.

Akwaaba: African Travel Market is  the only annual international travel fair in West Africa, drawing attendance from over 15,000 delegates from over 20 countries worldwide and the largest platform to meet with Travelling Public, Airlines, Hotels, Restaurants, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, State Tourism Boards, Foreign Trade and Tourism sectors and similar industry suppliers across Africa

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Amelia Earhart flies again! Namesake to recreate global flight

From http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/18/travel/amelia-earhart-global-flight/

CNN) -- In 1937, Amelia Mary Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean attempting to circumnavigate the globe.
Later this month, Amelia Rose Earhart will try to do what her namesake could not.
Despite recently discovering she's not related to the more famous Amelia Earhart (for years she'd believed she was), the 31-year-old pilot will attempt to become the youngest woman to navigate around the world in a single-engine aircraft.
CNN spoke with Earhart about her forthcoming record attempt.
CNN: Did your name spark your interest in aviation?
Earhart will make her record attempt in a Pilatus PC12.
Earhart will make her record attempt in a Pilatus PC12.
Amelia Rose Earhart: Getting asked questions day in and day out about my name has always been a part of my life.
People would say to me, "Are you a pilot? Do you think you can ever fly around the world?"
And for a long time, I said, "No, I'm not a pilot but I always thought about flying around the world."
It was always in the back of my mind just as an ultimate goal.
So I took my very first discovery flight, which is basically the first flight that every pilot goes through.
After that first discovery flight, I was totally hooked.
CNN: What was your reaction when you discovered that you weren't related to Amelia Earhart?
Earhart: It was a blow because, for 30 years, I thought that I was related to Amelia in some distant way.
But it really wasn't why I started flying, I wanted to fly because it's a lot of fun.
So at this point, I'm almost glad that the distant relationship isn't there because it shows that you don't have to be named after somebody famous to do something great.
CNN: Why recreate her flight?
Earhart: As pilots, whenever we fly, we have a flight plan. We open that flight plan, and then when we return safely, we close that flight plan.
Unfortunately, when Amelia disappeared in 1937, she never got a chance to close her flight plan and that's what we all, as pilots, hope to do.
If successful, Earhart (31) will become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine aircraft.
If successful, Earhart (31) will become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine aircraft.
I started thinking, "What if I could symbolically close Amelia's flight plan for her?"
CNN: When is the takeoff date and where will you start and end the flight?
Earhart: We start and stop the flight in Oakland, California.
When you look at the departure date, we've got a three-day window from June 23 to 26.
The reason for that is we're doing installations on the plane: additional fuel tanks and also a satellite communications system that will allow us to livestream from the cockpit.
CNN: How long will the entire trip take and how much will it cost?
Earhart: The whole trip will take two and a half weeks.
We've got 17 stops in 14 countries.
Over the past year and a half, I would say close to $2 million is probably the total value of the trip.
CNN: Are you nervous about embarking on such a major endeavor?
Earhart: My biggest fear is that the trip will just fly by and the two and a half weeks will be over before I know it.
I've spent years planning this and it is my passion project. I don't have a lot fear around what if something goes wrong with the aircraft.
That's not a concern of mine at all.
I do have realistic expectations if something happens weather-wise.
Flying around the inter-tropical convergent zone is particularly tough for pilots so I'm paying close attention to the weather patterns there.
CNN: Does the legend of your namesake worry you at all?
Earhart: Not at all. Amelia's disappearance unfortunately came at a time when the technology just wasn't there to track her.
Two years of planning and $2 million of expenses will bear out this month.
Two years of planning and $2 million of expenses will bear out this month.
But when you think about how far that's come in the last 77 years, we're looking at whole different world.
I'm flying the Pilatus PC12 which is a single-engine turboprop and it's one of most technologically advanced planes out there.
We've got dual GPS systems on the aircraft.
We've got navigation that shows us exactly where we are and exactly what point in space.
We want to show people that ... even small planes can be very manageable over long trips like this.
CNN: How do you pack for this kind of trip?
Earhart: That is the ultimate question because you have to be very cognizant of the weight aboard the aircraft.
Packing-wise, I have to keep everything very limited.
So we'll pack a certain amount of nutritional products.
Beauty products, I have to keep to a bare minimum, unfortunately.
CNN: What do you do when you're not flying?
Earhart: I'm really close with my girlfriends here in Denver. We will go running together, do stuff outside together.
Trips or getting out of town, that's pretty much to a minimum.
I did just have a chance to go to Geneva, Switzerland, for an aviation conference.
That was a chance to relax even though we were working the whole time.
Things like that, where you're working and playing, I like to blur those lines as much possible.
When I'm always playing and always working, that's when I'm happiest.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ever heard of Kacy Catarzaro????

http://www.hitfix.com/comedy/kacy-catanzaro-shatters-stereotypes-as-first-woman-to-complete-american-ninja-warrior-course

Not a pilot, but the first woman to ever complete the American Ninja Warrior challenge - and make it look easy.

Of course it helps that she's only 5 foot tall and probably only weights 100 pounds - but she went through every single challenge with ease.

Apparently she did it last week - I just saw it on TV today. Everyone was cheering her on all the way.

Totally coo-el.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

All-female Grande Prairie STARS crew flaunts a little gender pride with selfie

From Calgary Sun: http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/07/24/all-female-grande-prairie-stars-crew-flaunts-a-little-gender-pride-with-selfie

STARS Deb Wnuk Kelly Holt Jen Thiel Karen Coulter
Left to right: Deb Wnuk, paramedic, Kelly Holt, nurse, Jen Thiel, pilot, Karen Coulter, pilot, of STARS Air Ambulance. Supplied photo.
It was to be a girls’ flight out.

And the four-woman team couldn’t resist snapping a multi-selfie of one of the rare occasions an entire STARS air ambulance helicopter crew was female, said pilot Karen Coulter.

“It doesn’t happen all that often, not that we don’t enjoy working with our male counterparts,” said Coulter, 43, who’s been flying for 13 years.

“It’s just nice for us to see that we have so many females in the industry.”

The Grande Prairie crew boasts another woman pilot, one who’s on maternity leave, she added.
On Thursday, the four crew members — paramedic Deb Wnuk, nurse Kelly Holt and pilots Coulter and Jen Thiel — were together again as their work schedule dictates.

But bad weather prevented them from responding to a motor vehicle accident at Valleyview and what sounded like a severe bee sting reaction near McLennan.

That could be a typical day aloft for any STARS crew, regardless of gender, said Coulter who shares her gender with her boss, STARS President Andrea Robertson.

“The conversations are different,” she said.

Dealing with difficult calls, particularly those involving children, impact both male and female crews hard, “though the men are usually more stoic,” said Coulter.

Of STARS’ aviation and medical staff, 30% are female, with four women pilots — three quarters of the latter based in Grande Prairie.

STARS officials say there are fewer than 100 female helicopter pilots in Canada.

While the complexion of STARS personnel is continually evolving, some traditions remain the same.

“One of the male pilots brought us bouquets of flowers on Wednesday,” said Coulter.

Friday, July 25, 2014

First Female Pilot Joins Blue Angels

From Flying Magazine: http://www.flyingmag.com/news/first-female-pilot-joins-blue-angels

Female naval aviators have been flying fighter jets for 20 years but none have ever broken into the rarefied territory of the choicest job available to them — Blue Angels demonstration team pilot.
Capt. Greg McWherter, the former commanding officer of the Blue Angels who went by the eyebrow-raising pilot call sign "Stiffy," was ousted in April amid charges of sexual misconduct. A Navy review later found that the Blue Angels team doesn't discriminate based on gender — but that still begged the question of why no woman had ever been invited to join.
That's all changed with the Navy's announcement this week of the appointment of Marine Capt. Katie Higgins, 27, the first-ever female Blue Angel. She will fly as a C-130 demonstration pilot starting in October. 
Higgins, a 2008 graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meet B-29 pilot Debbie Travis King

From Northwestern.com: http://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/news/local/oshkosh/airventure/2014/07/21/eaa-oshkosh-airventure-travis-king/12976489/

(Photo: Photo by Connie Roper via EAA)

Debbie Travis King is the only woman in the world since 1943 authorized to fly the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which she pilots aboard the Commemorative Air Force's FIFI, the only airworthy B-29 left.

She will be the keynote speaker for the WomenVenture Power Lunch at AirVenture on Wednesday (July 30) at 11:30 a.m., at Theater in the Woods.

The daughter of an American Airlines pilot, she said a career in aviation came naturally. The Dallas native grew up around airplanes and was always working on them with her father.
"I was always in aircraft and never knew a life without it," she said.

Travis King began earning her flight certificates in high school and finished them in college at Texas A&M University. She earned her CFI and CFII directly after and later earned her jet ratings and Air Transport Pilot certificate. She flew corporate jets as an on-demand charter pilot, and now tours with the CAF B-29.

The freedom from everything on the ground drives her love of flying, as well as how it's black and white – and unforgiving. The rules and boundaries of the aviation industry fit with her personality, she said.

She pilots the CAF's B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil as well as its B-29, and flies the Falcon 20, 50, 900, 900B and 900EX jets among many other aircraft. At 45 years-old, Travis King has at least 3,600 flight hours under her wings.

She said the Superfortress is her favorite to fly because of its historical significance.

"It's not very often one single aircraft changes the course of history," Travis King said. "And, the fact that two women were incorporated and necessary for that change."

As a woman in what she described as historically, exclusively "man's territory" – besides the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II – she said a lot of pressure and attention comes with being the only female today flying the B-29.

"It takes a strong personality and thick skin to be able to withstand the credulation that you have to go through and the speak you have to listen to," she said. "I'm one of those people that you can't keep me down."

However the field is changing with more and more women finding their passion in aviation. Though it's a slow change, she said, Travis King is a prime example of how the field is becoming more inclusive to women.

She said she's excited to speak to those women at WomenVenture and share for the first time why she does what she does.

"I've never really fully explained why I do what I do and what my inspirations are," she said, adding she also wants to kindly explain how it's not exactly easy for women in the field.

"I can't say it is easy," Travis King said. "These are the things you're going to have to buckle up for… and we can do it."

Having gone to AirVenture since the 1990s, she said every time it's just like coming home.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Phoenix Home to Arizona's Only Female Law Enforcement Pilot

From News Talk KFYV: http://www.kfyi.com/articles/arizona-news-118695/phoenix-home-to-arizonas-only-female-12578592#ixzz38DsW6VCB

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Tracking down criminals from the air. You've likely seen the Phoenix Police Department's helicopter around the valley. The pilot is a valley born and raised woman, the only one in the State of Arizona.

"When people wanted to be astronauts, people wanted to be this or that, what I wanted to do was this, I wanted to chase bad guys from a helicopter," said Officer Corynn Wittrock.

And that is what she loves to do, years later.

"When I was a small kid I had the opportunity to know some of the county deputies, they took me on a ride along, and from then on out that is all I wanted to do," she said.

You may see her flying above the skies of Phoenix and all over the valley for the Phoenix Police Department. She's worked ten years with the department, 6 1/2 years on the street and 4 1/2 on patrol.

"There's been a lot of rewarding and scary things. We've all had to work on the streets, we've all had our own personal stories about working on the streets, where you were at the time of a foot pursuit or something," said Wittrock.

Snapping a seatbelt is second nature as Wittrock puts it, in addition to chasing the bad guys, she also helps in tactical rescue operations. She has advice for girls wanting to be police pilots.

"Keep persevering, I didn't get her by myself so surround yourself with positive people that influence you in the way you want to go, and help you follow your dreams," she said.

The Airborne Law Enforcement Association Conference started in Phoenix Thursday. It welcomes law enforcement pilots from across the country to the valley.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Diversity drive: Air Force command nominee is 1st woman, non-pilot

From the Washington Times: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/17/air-force-command-nominee-is-1st-woman-non-pilot/?page=2

The military also is preparing to put women in direct land combat units.
The Navy promoted its first woman this month to four-star rank: Adm. Michelle J. Howard, a surface warship commander, to vice chief of naval operations, the Navy’s second-ranking officer.
The Air Force promoted its first woman to four-star rank in 2012, when Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger took over Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.
The Army’s first female four-star general, Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody, has retired.
To observers, the twin moves to promote a woman to vice chief of naval operations and to place a woman in charge of a major combatant command Air Force means that female officers are destined to be elevated to the six-member Joint Chiefs of Staff, which comprises the four service chiefs, a chairman and a vice chairman.
Women make up 14.5 percent of the active force but only a small percentage of combat pilots, 21 years after the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in those jobs.
Of 3,714 Air Force fighter and bomber pilots last year, 85 — or about 2 percent — were women at the rank of lieutenant colonel and below.
I just hope the women they're promoting are competent.

Obviously there is no reason why they wouldn't be competent, except when they *have* to make promotions because of diversity...it's just like Affirmative Action - did they earn their way, or were they chosen because they had to be?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Do you like candles?

I've been surfing the web a lot, lately (not because I have free time but for my work!)

But while I'm  working I also make note of websites that I want to return to on my free time and perhaps make some purchases, and one of these is Chris's Country Essence.

It's a little e-commerce store that sells things like beeswax candles, from candles in the shape of little teddy bears, or bees, or beehives, to beeswax pillar candles. They also offer a lot of other things, of course, pure honey, and products made from honey - or beeswax - like shampoos, body washes, stuff like that.

I rather like the idea of supporting a business that has a symbiotic relationship with our little buzzing friends.

Honeybees are an interesting creature - so interesting that animals make things that taste good and are edible to humans...

Anyway, if you're in to cute stuff, check out the beeswax candles and beeswax pillar candles here.

Not to mention the other products they've got on offer, of course!

Ukraine woman pilot Savchenko in middle of media war

From the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28249884

"Ukraine's GI Jane" and "national hero", or a "Killing machine in a skirt"?
There are two starkly opposing views of the female Ukrainian air force pilot current being held in Russia, in what has become another battle in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian media war.
This latest information clash - played out mainly on social media as well as mainstream, pro-Kremlin media in Russia - typifies the way the conflict is being fought through opposing media narratives.
In the middle of it all is fashion designer-turned-air force helicopter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, 33.
Reportedly a member of a volunteer battalion fighting pro-Russia separatists near Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, the Russian authorities have charged her with complicity in the killing of two Russian TV journalists while taking part in a rebel checkpoint.
Ukraine accuses Russia of abducting her and has demanded her release.
'Save our girl' The pilot's cause has become the subject of an impassioned Ukrainian social media campaign portraying her as a national hero.
Screengrab of tweet in support of Nadiya Savchenko Support for Ms Savchenko is widespread on Ukrainian social media
Since news of her arrest first surfaced on 19 June, the hashtag #SaveOurGirl has generated more than 15,000 of tweets - apparently inspired by a worldwide campaign in support of Nigerian schoolgirls captured by Boko Haram militants.
Most outrage seems to focus on her mysterious appearance in Russian custody after being captured by separatists on Ukrainian territory.
"How dare the Kremlin kidnap people out of Ukraine?!" one pro-Ukrainian Twitter user fumed, to which a pro-Russian crudely responds: "Shoot this bitch like a dog".
A video showing the captured Nadiya Savchenko being interrogated by the pro-Russian insurgents has been viewed more than 580,000 times and has attracted a wave of comments commending her courage.
"There is no fear in her eyes, only disdain for the interrogator... A true hero," one commenter says. Another adds: "All of Ukraine is proud of you."
Nadiya Savchenko speaks to a reporter while serving in Iraq in 2005, in a still image of footage used in a feature report by Ukrainian Defence Ministry TV The 2011 defence ministry documentary includes footage of her service in Iraq
Popular Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 has launched a slickly-designed webpage aimed at publicising the "injustice" of Ms Savchenko's arrest.
A profile on the page describes her as a pilot, with 10 years in the armed forces, who served in Ukraine's troop contingent in Iraq.
It also says she was captured while trying to help "wounded comrades" in her volunteer battalion in eastern Ukraine.
"Nadiya Savchenko is a Ukrainian national hero who has to be saved," is its simple tagline.
Nadiya Savchenko speaks in a feature report by Ukrainian Defence Ministry TV In the 2011 film, Ms Savchenko speaks passionately about her chosen career path
Her sudden fame has also revived an obscure 2011 documentary about Ms Savchenko and her military career by Ukrainian defence ministry's Ukrainian Forces TV, which has now attracted more than 180,000 views on YouTube.
"I cannot explain this feeling. It is as if you are in heaven," a stylishly-dressed Ms Savchenko says in the video of her love of flying.
The film includes footage of her serving in Iraq in 2005, and describes her personal motto as "I see the goal - not the obstacles", but also highlights her other, more "feminine" interests, such as designing clothes and embroidery.
'Satan's daughter' Her image on Russian media sources loyal to the Kremlin could not be more different.
Still of reports attacking captured Ukrainian fighter pilot Nadiya SAvchenko on pages 1 (l) and 5 (r) of Russian tabloid Tvoy Den Tvoy Den's depiction of Ms Savchenko is particularly harsh, calling her "Satan's daughter" (bottom left) and "Bullet-fool" (top right)
Most put forward the Russian authorities' version of events, but some go even further.
Crude, and at times sexist, innuendo is used to demonise Ms Savchenko.
On its front page, tabloid Tvoy Den calls her "Satan's daughter", while another tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda alleges that Ms Savchenko was known as a "killing machine in a skirt".
State-run Rossiya 1 TV news takes a dim view of her political views.
"Nadezhda has obviously been turned into a zombie and has a very negative attitude to all Russia-related things," the channel's reporter says.
Nadiya Savchenko, 33, speaks to journalists shortly after her capture in Luhansk, Ukraine, 19 June Pictures of Ms Savchenko in detention have been widely disseminated by Russian media
Pro-Kremlin news website Ridus warns her: "Judging by the bloody trail left by Ukrainian gunner Savchenko, she may well face other charges".
However, on Russian-based social media the picture is more nuanced, with several Twitter users mocking perceived oddities in the Russian authorities' version of events, in particular their claim that she entered the country as a refugee.
"Savchenko fled to Russia in the guise of a refugee from a bloody fascist junta and ended up in the tight embrace of brotherly democracy," one anti-Kremlin user jeers.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Air Race Classic to visit Scottsbluff during June 16-19 race

From: http://www.starherald.com/news/local_news/air-race-classic-to-visit-scottsbluff/article_4703822d-e273-590e-be6d-0190a0c9a543.html

Aviation enthusiasts can get a glimpse into one of the oldest air races as the annual Air Race Classic visits Scottsbluff next week.

For more information visit www.info@airraceclassic.org
 

A total of 52 planes will fly this year as they take part in the 2014 ARC that will be held June 16-19. The all-female pilots will make 10 intermediate stops throughout the race with one stop scheduled at Western Nebraska Regional Airport in Scottsbluff. ARC Stop Chairman Sherry Fisher said, depending on the weather, a few planes are expected to arrive at the airport on Monday night with others coming in throughout the day on Tuesday.


The four-day competition will begin in Concord, Calif. and will travel 2,338 nautical miles to New Cumberland, Pa., with all racers competing for the fastest time. The ARC began when aviation legend Amelia Earhart held the first Women’s Air Derby in the United States in 1929. Since it was forbidden for female pilots to race against male pilots, Earhart and 19 other women took matters into their own hands and created the first all female race.
Today, women from 17 to 90 years old start with a race team of two pilots that must fly by the Visual Flight Rule of only flying during daylight hours. Pilots are also given four days to make the flybys at each en route timing point and then land at the terminus.
“The participants will fly sun up to sun down,” Fisher said. “They will start at 6:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night.”
In preparation for the event, pilots will undergo briefings, flight planning and a fly-by study prior to take off. Pilots will race against their own best speed time in a small airplane of their choice. The aircraft must be a stock model and have their handicap speed identified with a check pilot.
These female pilots will also be building up their experience and refining their flight skills since the route changes each year to make the competition even more challenging.
“It’s just like the Sugar Valley Rally, but it’s done with airplanes,” Fisher said.
WNRA will be the fourth stop of the race. Local residents will also be able to visit with the pilots free of charge at the airport during the pilot stops. After the pilots take a brief break, they will travel on to Norfolk Regional Airport. WNRA Chairman Don Overman said everyone at the airport is enthusiastic for the ARC to be making a landing in Scottsbluff.
“I’m pleased that they (ARC) chose Scottsbluff,” he said. “It will be exciting for people to come out and meet the pilots.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Facebook for my Women in Aviation Mini-Museum Project

Next year, I'm going to be putting a bit of my women in aviation collection into an exhibit at the Laramie County Public Library, here in Cheyenne. I've got a year to get all the pieces mounted properly for exhibit. Of course once I get the exhibits all ready to go, I want to share them with other people, and what I'm thinking of is creating a Mini Museum - renting a store front here in town and putting the collection on display.

I'm doing research into how I can popularize this idea and get people to come to Cheyenne to see the museum. (Of course, they'd come here for other reasons first - nice as I hope my mini-museum will be I seriously doubt if someone in Florida will travel to Cheyenne just to see it!)

Publicity is so important - if no one knows about it, no one will come.

I've been looking at putting bits of it online as a virtual museum, and putting links to the various social media on each page, so that if someone on Facebook visits a page and likes it, they can "share" it with their entire network - which of course would be a big win.

So I've been looking into how much Facebook shares cost.  Shares as in "page shares" - not stock shares! There are businesses that can do this for you - but of course getting Facebook shares cost money. So if you've got a business that you're trying to popularize, check out such websites as
www.facebooklikesbuy.com/vm/facebook-shares and see what they can do for you.

Meantime, I've got to start doing some serious work on my mini- museum idea!




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