As I drove to Arlington Airport on May 7, it felted like “deja vu”. The rain was coming down pretty heavily in patches as it had done on March 12 when I drove to Arlington to offer my moral support to the pilots of Arlington Airport who joined forces under the leadership of Cathy Mighell and introduced 144 girls and women to flying in a single day.
And just as on March 12, the grey skies could not dim the sunny attitude of everyone involved in making such a difference in their community.
The staff at NASA restaurant, located on the field, was eager and ready to welcome the group. Jerry Sorensen, one of the pilots on March 12 but also a talented photographer (check out his amazing photos here) was the official photographer for the evening.
Cathy, owner of Out of the Blue Aviation, awarded each ground support volunteer and each pilot an Out of the Blue Aviation certificate of appreciation. Laith Barnhill, who introduced the most girls and women to flying during Women of Aviation Week, showed off his new AOPA watch that he won. Laith admitted that he never wore a watch before but this watch is so beautiful and special that he wears all the time.
After enjoying delicious appetizers and a drink, everyone sat down to enjoy dinner (the prime rib was popular) while I presented the FAA Wings seminar, “GPS. The What Ifs.” that the pilots of Arlington won by making Arlington the 1st runner for the 2011 Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide title.
With dessert came the trophies and plaques! Cathy accepted the trophies on behalf of Casey Cowan and Dick Smith who both won titles in the Most Supportive Male Flight Instructor category. Laith Barnhill, accepted his trophy for Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide and Marla Patterson accepted her plaque for 1st runner up in the Most Dedicated Female Flight Instructor category.
To conclude the evening, Arlington Airport Manager, Rob Putman, congratulated everyone involved before accepting the plaque to recognize the Arlington Airport Aviation Community as 1st runner up for the Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide title. He, then, presented the plaque to Cathy Mighell who worked tirelessly to ensure that the event of March 12 be a resounding success. And it was.
Congratulations Arlington Airport Aviation Community!