So we're just passed the halfway point of 2011, which gives me the incentive to write about how I got here. If I had my way, general aviation would be in my life on an hourly basis! But, alas, my day-to-day job in the back of the cabin calls for me, until I have enough hours to be behind the flight deck door.
I am not really sure when my interests in aviation came about. What I am sure about is my passion for it. I have worked since I was 15, doing whatever I could in aviation to bring my dreams closer. I was the young one who did all of the odd jobs around the FBO, (short for 'airplane gas station' if you will,) and actually enjoyed them! When I finally earned enough to go up for a flight lesson, I savored every minute in that Cessna because I knew that it would be the gateway to my future. I had a dream, even back then, that I would get my license and go on into commercial aviation. That was my goal, and I was going to get there no matter what obstacles stood in front of me.
I achieved my pilot's certificate quickly and most recently received my multi-engine certification with the generosity of the 99s female pilot organization that presented me with a scholarship. The scholarship focused on what I have done as a pilot to further my education as well as pass on my knowledge to the next generation of student pilots. I was lucky enough to become involved with an amazing organization called Girls With Wings, founded by Lynda Meeks, a professional pilot. As a representative for Girls with Wings, I make time to speak with Girl Scout troops about aviation and the different career paths you can follow in aviation. I see myself as an inspiration because I know what it is like to have to work for what you want in life. It is difficult, and it can be discouraging, but the end result is that much more rewarding. Knowing that you have reached a goal with help from others and dedication on your part is so gratifying. I would love to inspire anyone to start flying because it brings my life so much peace and happiness. Shoot, I wouldn't be here today if someone hadn't inspired ME to keep at it!
I have a huge advantage as a flight attendant because this job has allowed me to see into the flight deck life on so many levels. I know what it's like to live out of a suitcase. I know how hard it is to stay awake on 6 hour red eye flights from Hawaii. I now know what pilots look for during their walk-around inspections! My last trip, the gate agent asked the Captain what I was doing down on the tarmac. The Captain simply replied, ' She's one of us.. she's just in training.'
There's a camaraderie in aviation. People say there are 'Six Degrees of Separation' ... well, in aviation, there are about two. It's incredible how small the community is and I am so lucky to be involved in it. I have a feeling that I will never learn everything about flying. I know that will always be a student pilot. To me, that isn't an obstacle, it's a challenge that I am more than willing to take on. There are so many new airplanes and new theories to play with, and I am ready to start!