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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mireille Goyer: Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Mireille was raised on a farm with a mother who’d never flown, a father who’d been afraid to fly, and didn't have one friend or acquaintance who was a pilot. Despite her mother’s comments of “flying being a neat thing to do,” her image of aviation was something that she believed was reserved for the very well to do and definitely out of her league. Little did she know, her mother was right!

Mireille's first flight was in the back of a B747 out of Brussels. Her journey would carry her from Brussels to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. She had no idea what to expect, and soon questioned the wisdom of committing  the next 18 hours in the air.

Shortly after the Boeing 747 lined up on the runway, the power was advance, and that huge plane accelerated, her apprehensions were replaced by exhilaration.  A month later, a flight to Maui sealed her fate. She said,  “I loved flying – the sheer beauty of the landscape below and the treat for the body senses.”

She had a Bachelors degree in Math and Physics, and decided to follow her interest in graphics and use her “math brain.” She studied computer graphic design at UCLA.  After finishing up at UCLA, Mireille worked as one of the first computerized slide show programmers, the precursor to Power Point, for major corporate events. Her job kept her flying as a passenger between the U.S. and Europe.

During one of her jobs, an employer decided not to pay her the overtime she’d earned. She stood her ground, and a year later the situation was resolved in her favor. She decided to use that money toward something to ease her pain and suffering. Something that she wouldn’t have done if she didn’t have the money.  She drove herself to the local airport and took an intro flight. She was “completely hooked on piloting” during that first flight she discovered her third attraction to flying – “a challenging brain game.”

Despite her love of flying, an aviation career didn’t interest her at the time because she already had a fun and exciting job that paid well and allowed her to travel.

However, as she gained more knowledge of the aviation training industry, she saw a lot of problems with the system and believed she had something to contribute. She became a flight instructor and an Aviation Safety Counselor (now FAA Safety Team Rep). She used her computer skills to enhance the quality of training and developed numerous training courses in addition to doing flight training. 
She continually challenges herself which led to added ratings, venturing into new training subjects, and discovering new airplanes and new countries. She’s flown single and multi-engine aircraft, and a twin turbo prop. Her goal is to get a jet rating one day.

“One of the most memorable moments of my flying career came a few months before my mother passed away 15 years ago. On a beautiful sunny day, my oldest brother, who became a pilot shortly after I did, and I flew over our childhood home with my mother and one of my sister’s in the back seat.”

Initially, she was only interested in flying for fun. But after the Chief CFI of the flight school where she learned to fly asked her teach ground school, her life changed. 

Being very self-conscious of her accent, she decided to develop a computer-based presentation to help her teach the class effectively. She said, “I thought that if I could make the CEOs of Toyota, Cisco, or Seagram look good on stage, I probably could do the same for myself.” This eventually led her to develop a series of courses.

Mireille is now the CEO of her own company: Goldstripes Aviation Inc. They specialize in developing courses and providing advanced aviation training.  I found Mireielle through the Centennial of Woman’s Pilots and had asked her what her involvement was.  

“I am the “Centennial of Women Pilots” project. My company, Goldstripes Aviation Inc., provides the money for the trophies, the website hosting, and more recently, the money to buy the brick at EAA’s AirVenture Brown Arch to have a memorial to the women pilots of the last 100 years. I gladly put in the countless hours of labor because it is a labor of love (just like children).”

Last December the 100th

“Initially, I thought about what I could do on a personal level. My first thought was to fly in each of the three countries key to my life, France, the United States and Canada on March 8, 2010, the actual anniversary date. Then, I thought it would be neat to introduce another female to aviation during each flight. When I started to put down the timing for this project, I quickly realized that the travel time and time difference between all these locations was making the project nearly impossible to complete safely. Keeping in with the idea, I thought that another way to approach it was to create a campaign to encourage pilots around the world to introduce a female to aviation where they normally flew. If I could not be in all places to celebrate, the best alternative was to have pilots in all places fly.”

Actually, she did fly in all three countries in March. As fate would have it, she flew an aircraft manufactured by each of the countries she flew in: 

 Robin DR 400, Paris, March 6, 2010

Cessna 172, Hawthorne, Los Angeles

Diamond Eclipse, Vancouver, BC

Mireille’s heart, determination and love for life, past and present, have been her wings. She believes:

An anniversary is a time to celebrate the memories of yesterday, the joys of today, and the hopes of tomorrow. The reason for encouraging pilots to introduce a female to aviation as a salute to the women pilots of the past was guided by:

·     Trying to avoid the “boring”, “past”, “museum stuff” image of anniversaries that can turn off some people
·      Creating a more dynamic celebration in which everyone can take part (as opposed to being a spectator) 
·      Affecting the future (the percentage of women pilots has been steady at 6% for decades)

By the end of January 2010 her press releases, and hundreds of emails, were sent out to the world, places she wouldn’t have expected.

Kpong Field, Ghana. Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi was the first woman to receive a Ghanaian pilot license just last year, with support of her instructor, Jonathan, and many others within the WAASPS organization. Click HERE to learn more. Patricia and 3 male pilots decided to celebrate by flying 100 girls and women in one day on the 100th anniversary, March 8 2010. 

 Patricia in the left seat 
“They flew 97 using 4 ultra lights. Their spirit was just amazing and heartwarming. Kpong Field, Ghana, currently holds the highest number of introductory flights at one single airport in celebration of the Centennial.

 Celebrating their Success

So far, a little over 70 pilots from 11 countries and 4 continents have taken part of the celebration and have introduced nearly 500 girls and women to aviation as a salute to the women pilots of the past.”

What it is the Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots?


The Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots is a grass root campaign to introduce a record number of girls and women, not holding any pilot certificates, to the joys of flying as a salute to the women pilots of the past.

With only three months left before the end of this Centennial year, we invite all pilots to help us salute the female trailblazers of the past by introducing a record number of girls and women to the wonders of flight. If you are a pilot who has ever benefited from the hard-earned breakthroughs of the women pilots of the past and/or if you would like to encourage more women to enter the aviation family, take at least one girl or one woman who is not currently a pilot on an introductory flight before December 31, 2010.

Our history is our identity. Each female passenger receives a digital certificate that attests that they took an introductory flight during this very special year. It serves as a reminder of belonging to the long list of women pilots and a challenge to pay it forward if they choose to become pilots someday. A digital certificate is also sent to each participating pilot.

Each flight along with photos is listed on the Centennial’s website. No last name, except that of winners of trophies, is listed for privacy and security reasons.

Trophies are available in three categories:

·      Most female-pilot-friendly airport in the world in 2010 (airport with most non-pilot girls and women introduced to aviation in 2010)

·      Most dedicated woman pilot in the world in 2010 (woman pilot who introduced the most non-pilot girls and women introduced to aviation in 2010)

·      Most unusual introduction flight of a non-pilot girl or woman by a pilot in 2010 (criteria include type of aircraft, location or destination, pilot or passenger uniqueness)

The final number of introductory flights done in celebration of the Centennial as well as the name of the participating countries will set be in stone on the Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots’ anniversary brick to be laid in perpetuity under EAA’s AirVenture Brown Arch. We hope this anniversary brick will mark a corner of women pilots’ history.

To participate, each participating pilot must register at, complete a flight report in word format and email it back along with photos of the flight and a scan or photo of the logbook entry for the flight as proof. The pilot’s certificate number, personal address, or total hours are not required for privacy reasons.

Thank you Mireille for sharing your story. Each month I will be honoring one of the participants and sharing what they're doing. What can you do to encourage women to fly? My mind is searching.

Enjoy the Journey!



  1. What a great story is being written by this wonderful human being .. Starting to read, i shared with Mireille being a kid that had never flown, neither had a relative or friend being a pilot.. My first flight was in the back of a DC-9 and my first ever flight in a light airplane, was my first flying lesson in a Cessna 152 back in 1984.. Thanks for sharing and for bringing back really good memories.. Fly Safe girls!

  2. Wow! I can't wait to register for the Centennial of Women pilots! Now how many women can I take up by December 31st? I like this challenge-thanks for sharing!

  3. A farm girl turned pilot, I love it! What a great story. Thanks for sharing Mireille with us!

  4. Carlos, Thank you for your comment. She is a wonderful human being. We have to wonder where that aviation dream comes from, but glad we got it.
    Thanks for sharing your story, and glad to bring back the good memories.

  5. Vic, I too am thinking how many women to take up by December 31st! My mind is thinking... I have an idea. :)

  6. Thanks Heather, it is great when a farm girl can escape the farm and find the sky and make all her dreams come true.

  7. Yet another inspirational woman in aviation, fantastic story and all the best to Mireille in all that she does.

    Jo x

  8. Thanks Jo, she is incredible! And... inspirational. So, anything you guys can think of doing to introduce women to flying? :) Thanks for your comment!


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