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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.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pilots Giving Back...

"The difference between extraordinary and ordinary
is that little word... extra"  

GRATITUDE

Giving Recognition And Thanks to Inspired Thoughtful Unsurpassed Dedicated Enthusiasts

We call PILOTS

During the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, Julia Cannell at the Seattle Museum of Flight created a week of aviation entertainment. But it was the end of the week that is dear to my heart where a group of pilots took women and girls for their first flight. The energy and enthusiasm of this life changing event is surpassed by none. I cannot thank these pilots enough for their effort. 


These Pilots flew 209 Girls!

Meet The Pilots:

Bill Ayer


President and CEO of Alaska Airlines, Bill Ayer, pulled on his jeans, threw on his baseball hat, fired up his Piper Malibu, and brought smiles to many. This commercial, instrument-rated, instructor pilot did not always want to fly. He actually had plans of being a physician. But his flight planned changed and he took to the sky.

Bill Ayer

Starting a commuter airline in the Northwest, he went on to bigger and better things with Alaska Airlines. His continued contribution to our community shows that his heart guides his actions. Sometimes it's easy for corporations to write checks for social contribution. But never in my airline experience have I met someone like Bill who makes it personal. 


 Bill, Thank you! (Remember... don't let airline pilots land your plane.)


Jim Young


From Airline Executive to Airline Pilot. Jim Young, an International Airline pilot, with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering, brought his Cessna 421 and made many girls very happy. Not only did Jim join us, but he made this a family affair by bringing his wife (and business partner) Jana, and their son Charlie.  Jim and Jana own and operate an Aviation business MMO Aviation Services Inc.  

Jim and Charlie Young

More or less anything you could want in Aviation from aircraft testing to delivery you could find at MMO services. And this day they gave, as they often do, for the children in our community with Aviation High School, and Angel Flight West missions. Charlie gave up his co-pilot seat for the day to let the girls fly. 

Jana, an Engineer, private pilot, Women of Aviation member, and contributor to Aviation High School  became the gate keeper by default on that first day.

Jana Young

Jim, Jana, and Charlie... Thank you all! I'm looking forward to my turn to fly.


Tom Gwilym


Tom started flying by jumping off a stepladder in his backyard when he was five. His passion for flight started early and I am so glad he switched to planes. He's an astronomer, pilot, instructor and all around great guy. 

Tom Gwilym

Tom's enthusiasm speaks for itself as he is a pilot who has never missed a Fly It Forward event. He does not own his own plane, and his flying funds are limited. But that never stops him. As a member of a flying club, he knew we needed pilots and found me four more aviation enthusiasts to fly with us. He flew day one. Then flew copilot with one of his students. 

Thank you Tom!


Ryan Burns


What sparks the imagination and need to fly in pilots? Just ask Ryan.

"I went on my first flight when I was very young, sitting on Mom's lap while Grandpa flew us around Seattle.  I must have been hooked right then, because I've loved flying and plane spotting ever since (I still go racing through the house to catch a glimpse whenever a plane flies over).  

Ryan Burns

"After years of dreaming, I finally got my license in September 2012, and now I get to see the view from the cockpit!  While flying is fun, sharing the experience is even better.  Now I'm working on inspiring my 4-year old daughter to love flying too!  Hopefully she'll have lots of ground school classmates as a result of these events!"

The first day Ryan worked the gate with Jana Young. The second day he flew. But with all this said, I'm not sure who had more fun...Ryan or the girls?

Thank you very much Ryan!

Ryan, Tom, Kai

 

Kai Wang


Kai started his flight training immediately after graduating from college in the summer of 2011 when he could afford it.  He tells me, "I quickly become addicted to it that I’ve been flying every weekend and I've logged a little over 250 hours so far. I love the breathtaking views and the feeling of freedom in the air. Besides flying straight and level like I did for the Fly It Forward event, I also enjoy practicing powered aerobatic in a bi-plane and soaring along the ridge in a glider."

Kai Wang

Kai has plans to get his flight instructor certificate this summer so he too can help others experience the joy of flying. This is why he participated in the Fly It Forward event. Kai says, "It’s definitely a very rewarding experience for me being able to introduce aviation to so many people in two days." But the reward is all ours. 

Thank you Kai for your extra effort and flying both days! We really appreciate you. 

Kai Wang

Bown Zhang


"My passion about flying started since I was at 2008 EAA Oshkosh AirVenture for the first time. I pursued private pilot license in 2009 and have been living for a dream of becoming airline pilot one day, seating inside giant 747 flying around the world. While enjoying the freedom of flying and beautiful view from the air, I wish to share this wonderful experience to other people. I wish as a pilot I can make recreational flying more meaningful. Thanks for Museum of Flight and all the organizers, I had this chance to make a difference."

Bown Zhang

Bowen flew two days for us and his enthusiasm and smile says it all. I had no idea he wanted to be an airline pilot. But I have no doubt he will make it to the airlines and fly that 747 around the world. Bowen, with your gift to the girls and to the Seattle Museum of Flight... I suspect when you're ready, someone has a connection or two to open a door. You've opened many for so many girls.

Thank you Bowen!

Bowen

Jeremy Elson


Jeremy has been flying since 2003. He says it all started as a "getaway from spending so much time in front of computer screens while finishing his doctoral dissertation." He has logged more than 1,000 hours, including eight trips coast to coast. Jeremy enjoys introducing new people to the magic of flight and has helped create several new pilots in the process. Jeremy also enjoys bicycling, travel, and creating do-it-yourself electronics - and recently completed a functional rocketship treehouse.


Jeremy Elson

Jeremy joined us in the final hour and his effort was so much appreciated. I'm also thinking I need some photos of that treehouse. Hopefully we'll see more of it, and Jeremy too. 

Jeremy, Thank you!


Pete Newman


Like all good stories... when we're about to go over the river without a paddle, a miracle happens. This time the miracle came in the name of Pete Newman. A plane had just dropped out both days, and another could only fly for one. And who should show up? Pete Newman. 

Pete Newman

Pete is no novice to contribution and flying. He has flown Challenge Air events and Angel Flight missions, and we could not have been more lucky to have him join us.  How far can his compassion go? He had planned on flying half a day, as he had an appointment he needed to make. What did Pete do when he saw the line of girls waiting patiently? He canceled his appointment. 

Thank you so much for all your help Pete!

Pete Newman

Peter Morton


Peter Morton is a retired Boeing executive after a 42 year career. He was the first ground school instructor who taught pilots about jet engines on the Boeing 707! Peter  has been part of our Fly It Forward events from the beginning. He selflessly rents a cirrus and flies the girls.

Peter Morton

Peter conducts Young Eagle flights, volunteers and mentors students at Aviation High School, and is active in the aviation community across the nation. His involvement with our events has not only included flying, but he has been instrumental in coordinating and creating the routes of flight, keeping our event safe for everyone involved.

Thank you very much Peter for all your effort!


Gabhan Berry


"For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with flying. As a teenager driving home from university I would stop at the local airport, watch the airplanes come and go and dream of being a pilot. Sometimes, I would be there for hours. After working two summer jobs between semesters to save the money needed for the training, I gained my private pilot certificate at the age of 19. That experience taught me what can be achieved with hard work."

Gabhan Berry

"These days, I hold a commercial pilot certificate and use it as much as possible to share the magic of flying with others. As well as the Fly it Forward event, I fly patients to and from treatment centers for the Angel Flight West charity and have flown disabled children at Challenge Air events. I hope to inspire at least one person to learn to fly. When I'm not flying or thinking about flying, I work as a software engineer for Apple."

Gabhan, you have inspired so many... me included. We are so grateful for your support and effort. Thank you!

 

 

Catherine Woodard


Catherine Woodard,  once a police officer, has found another thrill... to fly airplanes. She started in a Cessna 172 and moved up to a 182. Last year she attempted to fly for our event, but like all good plans... sometimes our planes have another idea. Safety is always first. Today everything worked out, and Catherine flew carried many young ladies for their first flights.

Catherine Woodard

While we never know what life will bring. This is one day brought a gift. Catherine, Thank you for taking your time and joining us in bringing many smiles. 


Denise Stecconi


Last but definitely not least... Denise Stecconi.  Denise once jumped out of planes, and now she flies them. She decided (three years ago) she wanted to make a living flying planes. She balanced a challenging high-tech job, flight training, and motherhood to make it all work. 

Denise Stecconi

Has Denise made her dreams come true? Absolutely. She flies sightseeing flights around Seattle, is a mother... and an inspiration to all. This particular day she made the dreams of many young ladies come true.

Denise thank you for taking your time in your busy day to fly the girls. And thank your supportive husband and darling children for sharing you with the world of flight.


Daniel and Rachel Sallee


We had many Museum of Flight Volunteers that were incredible. But we also had volunteers who  dropped by to help out the last day, that were not part of the museum staff. 

Daniel Sallee, a pilot for Kenmore Air, and Rachel Sallee, an Engineer for Boeing... gave up their Sunday afternoon to help. And what a help they were.


Rachel and Daniel Sallee


Daniel had plans to fly his plane, but he was on call and working on the ground was a better choice for him and his company. Next year I suspect we'll have him in the air.  Daniel and Rachel, thank you both for helping out! It was great to see you again.

Thank The Pilots: 

Now it is your turn to thank your pilots. Giving your time and energy (not to mention the unspoken word of expense) is a GIFT that should not go unnoticed. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you all for your effort. 

Oh... and we have winners of the book Fly Girl! For everyone who commented... you won a book! I even have a few books for the young men too. Email me your mailing address and I'll send a book. Karlene.Petitt@gmail.com

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

20 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great effort! Especially nice to see Mr. Ayers of Alaska Airlines involved. One more reason I'd like to call Alaska home. Kudos to all involved!

    Mark Berney
    CRJ Pilot

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    1. Thank you Mark! Yes... if you could get on with Alaska... you would be among the best. People who do because they care. Best of luck to you!!

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  2. These people are so great! I remember how much fun it was going up in the air the year I got to participate in your event, and how impressed I was then with the enthusiasm and joy the pilots brought to the party. They didn't even recognize how generous they were being--it just seems to come naturally. Congrats on another wonderful flying exploration for women and gigs, Karlene!

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    1. Linda, isn't that the truth! They just do. No wanting anything. They're smiles and energy keep them going. And when they need to step it up an extra flight.. they just do it. You know what it means...you've been there from the passenger point of view. Thanks for your comment.

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  3. No pilots from a tiny nation called ... err ... India?

    :)

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    1. You better become a pilot and come fly with us!

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  4. Karlene, I do not know even where to begin with my response for this post as you have included so many great pilots with so many great qualities respectively. So I will respond with two words: POWER POST!

    It's also great to see another Jeremy pilot. I also remember Denise Stecconi as a Friday Flyer also Daniel Sallee who you mentioned to me before. I also remember him from the acknowledgements page in the novel.

    Once again, thank you for sharing these talented pilots to the world. Congrats, everyone!

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    1. Thank you Jeremy! Yes... go Jeremy pilots. One day I hope that you'll be able to participate in something like this. You give every day with your energy and time. One day it will be in an airplane. Thanks so much for your comment. You keep powering through your days. You are making a difference!!

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  5. It brings tears to my eyes when I think that so many of the young ladies were given the chance to see the world from above. What a wonderful experience. My daughter is eight and the time is nearing when I need to get her up.

    I don’t care if she flies for hire or not. It is the dedication, attention to detail and perseverance that I want to pass on. You and your team had a wonderful opportunity to mentor these ladies and I know you passed on some wonderful lessons. Great Job!

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    1. Rob, I love this. Isn't that the truth. It's not about making it a job. It's also giving the confidence that we are in control of our lives. Confidence to a young lady in a challenging world is one of the best things we can give. Oh ... and the details and dedication. I'm sure there is a flying event in your area... maybe you could fly in it.

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  6. Bowen was amazing! He showed my daughter all of the safety checks and took her through each step of the flight. He let her steer for a brief 5 seconds in the air before she got really nervous. We had such an amazing experience. Thank you so much, Bowen for giving my daughter an incredible treat!

    Karlene, thank you, thank you, thank you!! We look forward to having you as a guest speaker at Cascade K-8 Community School. You are the best!

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    1. Leslie, Thank you so much for the wonderful comment. While she got nervous... she did it! And this flight will stay with her for a long time. She will say... but I flew a plane! There is nothing I can't do. Kind of like superman in that way.

      I too am looking forward to talking to the students at Cascade!

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  7. Karlene,

    I really enjoyed helping out, hopefully I'll be able to fly next year. Thank you to all of the pilots that came, and if Mr. Ayer reads this it was great to meet you and hope to run into you again someday.

    Daniel Sallee

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    1. Thank you Daniel, it's very fun participating in these events. So many smiles!

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  8. My favorite flight that day - I had three small girls on board my plane, I always gave one of them the left seat and the chance to fly the plane a little if they wanted. I had this one little one in the pilot seat, and two more in back. They were all giggling, laughing and squealing the whole way. I had to mute the intercom to talk to the tower when I was coming in. I'm sure the happy squeals were heard all over Puget Sound when I transmitted. Great fun again, and you have a way with good weather Karlene!
    I'll be back again next year. :-)

    Tom

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    1. Tom, This is great! And the Tower knew what was happening that day and I am sure that those squeals of joy put smiles on their faces too!. Thank you so much for your effort.

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    2. I had the same thing happen to me, 3 little girls squealing "OMG OMG OMG" on take off, hehehe!
      It was awesome, I think I will be back next year too! :)

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    3. Denise, I love that! I wish we had a recording. But those little voices will be in your head for the rest of your life. Good little voices. :)

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    4. That happened to me too! There were two girls screaming as if they were riding a roller coaster(I did bank as much as 30 degree after take off to comply with BFI's tight right pattern for 13R) during one flight. I thought they were scared and asked if they want me to head back and land, but it turned out that's just the way they expressed their excitements as the one of the girl's mom who's on the front seat told me so. On the other side of the extreme, I also had one little girl on another flight who was so calm that she actually fell asleep during the flight. It's such a fun experience with lots of unpredictable things from the kids:) I'll try to do it again next year!

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    5. I guess you have to be around girls to know their true essence of the scream. And that one who fell asleep? I'm thinking we found our airline pilot! lol. Thanks for the comment and for flying for us!

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