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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, May 29, 2015

Sue Ballew

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 Sue Ballew

Last week I met Sue at the Palo Alto Awards Banquet and what a dynamic woman she is! Such a fun night was had by all. And I'm thankful I had the opportunity to meet her (and her students) and the rest of the 99 group. And today you have the great opportunity to meet this dynamic flight instructor!

From Sue: 

"I graduated with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and immediately set out to pursue my passion for plants by starting an Interior Plantscaping company, Garden Habitats Inc. I received my Landscape Contracting License in 1982.

After owning and operating a successful, “award winning” Interior Plantscaping company for more than 20 years, providing the interior plants for some of the largest and most prestigious companies in Southern California, and working with some of the most creative and talented people in the business, I was looking for a new and exciting challenge.

I had always wanted to fly, but that image had been of “flying like superman”. Then one day while searching for this new challenge, I realized that maybe I could fulfill that dream, but in an airplane. So I was off to the airport, found the perfect instructor, and 5 months later in 1996, got my private pilots certificate. I joined the 99s – The International Organization of Women Pilots, and a whole new world opened up. I was flying everywhere, meeting new people, flying in air races, and having a blast.

Next came my instrument rating. Then in 1997 I decided it was time to sell my company and move on to new adventures. I was bitten by the “flying bug” and I proceeded to get several more ratings, including my instructor rating, taught flying for a year, got a Citation Jet Type Rating, then got hired by the airlines and moved to sunny Puerto Rico to fly to 25 destinations in the Caribbean. I was truly living my dream.

Then 911 happened and everything changed. I stayed at the airlines another two years, flew throughout Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba, and then resigned.

Realizing the industry changed after 911 and wasn't what I had hoped for, I left, only to discover that what I truly loved about aviation was flying small aircraft and the enthusiastic pilots and future pilots that can be found at local airports."

Sue also organizes monthly flyouts for one of the clubs which coincides with the Santa Clara Valley 99s flyouts. And anyone that wants to come is welcome! Check out the event at: Sky Trekker Flyouts. Sue says she usually has at least two students in her plane, so one flys out and the other back.

 Fly With a Friend!

"I try to introduce as many of my students to each other so they will have another student pilot to talk to while going through the learning process. Many of them continue to be friends and often fly together which keeps them in the air. "

I nabbed Sue's bio from her website as a time saving strategy, because the few minutes I carved out today I spent reading about all her awards, adventures, and viewing all the people she has helped reach their dreams on that website! Sue Ballew is an amazing woman.

Make sure you click HERE to read more.

If you have any questions about instructing or want to learn to fly, Sue is your woman!

Sue Ballew
“Live the Dream, Learn to Fly”
Gold Seal Flight Instructor
CFI of the Year 2012 - West Valley Flying Club
Professional Woman Pilot of the Year 2012 -
Southwest Section Ninety-Nines, Inc.
NAFI - Master Flight Instructor
Skytrekker Aviation 

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