Written by Jennifer Christiano
Ponderosa Aero Club just hosted its third Fly It Forward event (2014), and what a doozy it was!
Local flying organizations of all stripes were coming out of the woodwork this year to participate. Our host, Jackson’s Jet Center, opened the doors not only to its lobby for the ground show but also to two of its luxurious Bizjets for the curious to peek into.On the other end of the GA aircraft scale, our local Kitfox factory sent two light sport planes and pilots to give several lucky passengers their own private flights.
The 99’s pitched in to register our female guests, the local helicopter school raffled off a helicopter ride, and the Civil Air Patrol, Air National Guard and several other organizations staffed well-attended booths. The airport fire crew made their annual pilgrimage to the tarmac to show the visitors how they put out aircraft fires and Army Air Corps Apache pilot Nicole Washington and National Guard Air Base commander Col.
Sherry McKibben wowed the crowd with stories of their unusual adventures. And I flew all day as part of what became a virtual aerial circus with so many aircraft sharing the local airspace together.
Whew! By the end of our event, we flew 114 girls and women (our most yet!). Several sent heartfelt cards and letters thanking us for generously offering life-changing experiences. But honestly, I don’t know who had more fun and got more out of the event – the ladies we welcomed, or us!