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Living on Flight

Written by Amber Phillips
Aircraft Mechanic and soon to be pilot


Last year, PT6 Nation (PT6 is a Pratt and Whitney engine) was promoting Women of Aviation Week by sharing photos of women and their work place on their Facebook page. As a huge fan and advocate of both PT6 and Women of Aviation, I was inspired to put together a photo shoot of the women who work at Quest Aircraft up in Sandpoint, Idaho.

I work on the production line building the KODIAK. The KODIAK is a 10-seat single engine turboprop utility airplane originally designed to get into unimproved strips out in the bush, but can be and is used in many different applications.

The custom painted Tiger theme, amphibious, Kodiak was the perfect backdrop for us ladies matching its uniqueness with ours. From machine shop to parts rooms and to the assembly line, these ladies do it all! I’ve worked with them for a few years now and they inspired me to set this fun photo up. They push me to do great things and that’s what motivates me!

I started working on my private pilot license last year. I work 40 hours a week building planes so of course, why not do more? I also received my airframe mechanics license last year and since then I’ve been eager to dive into the aviation community even more. My gramps introduced me to flying around the age of 15 back in Ohio, so the aviation community has always inspired me.

The following is part of the essay I wrote that helped win the 2013 Girls With Wings Spring Scholarship to help finish up funding for my
licensing: “When I was around 15, my grandparents invited me to come visit them in Ohio. I was extremely excited for the visit, because I knew my grandpa flew planes, and I was hoping so much to get a chance to ride in one with him. During the visit, it seemed like all we did was talk about flying and what he had done as a pilot in the military – and that was fine by me! Finally, one day he had to take an engineer over to Kalamazoo, Michigan (KAZO) from Lorain County Airport, Ohio (KLPR). I had flown on the airlines before, but to be in the front seat with all that stuff going on was exactly what I wanted to do. After we landed, Grandpa took me to the Air Zoo of Kalamazoo while the engineer worked in town. My mind was overloaded with so much, and the adrenaline of sitting in the cockpit was still lingering. I look up to Grandpa in so many ways, and I hope that I too can be an inspiration to young ladies someday and get them hooked on aviation.”

The aviation community is such a wonderful thing to be a part of. You gain strength through others that have gone through similar situations and if they haven’t, they certainly will help and encourage you.

Meeting other women aviators up here in North Idaho is exciting because, their isn’t many, but the ones you do meet, inspire you with their outstanding accomplishments. Since working at Quest aircraft joining Girls With Wings, the 99’s and AOPA, I have met some outstanding individuals throughout social media and local events. I’m eager to expand once I receive my license and can travel more freely to more events.

Below are some blog entries I have submitted throughout the past few months to Girls With Wings in exchange of winning the scholarship. I’ve enjoyed keeping track of my training and wish to continue helping other young ladies and women to pursue their dreams even when sometimes obstacles get in the way. There’s no greater accomplishment than one that has triumphed through challenging times and still pursue a dream.

More from Amber:


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