I love flying and strangely enough I find myself on the ground for weeks on before going up again. And then, I always ask myself: “Why did I wait so long?”. I have no excuse, I am lucky enough to live on an airport. I just have to open the garage door, take the plane out and go! But is through that flying for flying is not my thing. I need a goal, a purpose. Flying to get to an isolated beach, yes sir! To get to the weekend getaway faster, OK. It is so much fun! Everything is so different from the air. The view is breathtaking. It sometimes feel like a spiritual experience. I just, like it a lot.
So what is it with me ? Why am I not up there more often ? After reading Victoria’s goals for this year, I knew without a doubt.
When I organized an event for last year’s WOAW week at my home base, Lachute Airport, the 24 volunteer pilots, including myself, had a terrific time taking up 100 women for a flight. We were all smiling and explaining and sharing our passion of flying to an already conquered crowd of women as excited and happy to fly as we were.
To advertise the event and get as more women as I could, I went to the local high school, from class to class, talking to the young girls about this dream of flying that has been with men since the beginning of time. It was so easy for me to talk about my experience. To say: “Yes you can!” and invite them to try it with a free flight. I was sharing an opportunity.
So that’s what it is! Sharing the possibility, the delight of flying. I want to fly with someone I can initiate to this magnificent pleasure of being in the air. That’s why I am not always in the air, I need someone to share it with. See their face light up, their courage to take the controls or to refuse it. Talk to them and reassure them when they tense to conquer their fear because that happens to…
When I was 20 years old, I was a rep for a Tour operator so I took a few planes. It was before 911, so I could go in the cockpit and talk to the pilots all I wanted. Well, may be I shouldn’t have. I was so impressed with all the controls, knobs, dials, switches and the rest that the image imprinted in my brain with the caption, TOO MUCH. I wondered how they could remember all of this. How can a pilot fly such a machine? How do they do it? How could I? I had a serious mental blockage and I never thought I would ever be able to fly.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, it took another 20 years and a glider pilot to prove me wrong. The glider had just four basic dials: altimeter, speedometer, turn and bank indicator and a compass. That, I definitely could manage, and so I became a pilot. Obviously my Cessna has more of those knobs and dials called instruments but I had broken my mind barrier.
So I can assure you: « Yes, you can! » At my Lachute event we were 4 female for 20 male pilots. We should do better than that. And now, as WOAW week Canadian team leader this is what I do, share that possible dream and get the women on board that aeronautical field. There are more means available to you than you think. So get down to it, participate in our events, even better, organize one.
Help me reach my goals for my first year as the Canadian Team Leader:
- Get even more women airborne this year, let’s say 400 per Province, 4,000 for Canada
- Get more events going
- At least one in every Provinces
- One big aeronautical firm, like Bell, Bombardier or CAE, getting personally involved by opening its doors to girls and women would make me proud
- And an educational one that would promote aeronautical studies for women
- A national coverage of the event
Lets share the passion of flying to increase the number of women practicing the sport or working in the field and who knows even have some of them fly inverted!