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

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Joyce Fowler Wilson

Friday's Fabulous Flyer
Joyce Fowler Wilson
On June 18, 2013, Joyce will flying as copilot on Team XXtreme AviatriXX, in the 2013 Women’s Air Race Classic. What started out as the First Women's Air Derby in 1929, is now a 4-day air race, where pilots of the female gender race across the country getting the best our of their planes and themselves.

Dianna and Joyce 
This week it's all about Joyce Fowler Wilson~ Aviatrix Extraordinaire.

We all know that pilots have a special air about them. But what makes this flying game so much fun, besides the flying, is the people. And with general aviation pilots, especially the women, the variety of stories as to why they began flying is never ending. Last week we read about an Air Race Classic racer who began flying as the final wish of her husband diagnosed with Alzheimers. This week we have another woman sharing her husband's dreams... which ended up making hers come true as well.

Joyce Wilson~

Born and raised in Morgantown, WV. College was a natural extension of High School for me. While working at Weirton Steel as an Industrial Audiologist, I became interested in firearms and hunting. My interest led me to competition handgun shooting which is how I met my husband.

We were living in Arkansas and my husband had always dreamed of a Texas ranch. When we found the perfect ranch in northeast Texas we drove back and forth several times a month. We have several friends who are pilots and I had wanted to learn to fly from a young age but never had the opportunity. One day, jokingly, I told my husband it would be much quicker if we flew and that I would be more than happy to get my license. He said ‘go for it’. That’s all I needed. I found an instructor and just 5 months later, in January 2007, I had my private pilot’s license. The following year I added my instrument rating. 

Not being in the aviation industry, I don’t fly professionally nor do I get to fly as often as I’d like, but I’ve been fortunate to fly many places from California to Pennsylvania. I’ve also participated in the 2010-2012 Air Races. From my first introductory lesson at the age of 12, I never lost the wonder of flight nor the passion to learn.

I’ve been blessed to have several wonderful partners in the previous Air Races. I’m really excited to fly with Dianna this year. She is such an accomplished pilot and person, it will be a dynamic race.

- Joyce Wilson
When I asked Joyce what the most important lesson she's learned in flying she said,  "Aviate, Navigate and then Communicate. One has to keep flying the plane first and deal with everything else after that." 
Her words of wisdom~ "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. We have to push ourselves to our limits and sometimes beyond in order to grow. I'm still learning how to do this."
Angel Flight
Joyce, thank you for sharing your story with us. I try to live by your words of wisdom daily... and will continue to Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate...One of my mantras in life.

For all you race fans.... The race begins in Pasco, Washington on June 18, 2013, and covers 2,129 nautical miles through out ten states, ending in Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 21, 2013. Please join us next week to see how the captain of this team began flying because of eggs. 
Please wish Joyce luck, and... Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Joyce has such a great story. "Go for it" were also the words that came out of my mothers mouth when I told her I had found an instructor and want to start lessons. I wish Joyce all the luck in this race and can't wait for more photos!!

    Have a great weekend everyone!!


    1. I love that. We should all believe in the power of those three little words. "Go for it!"
      Thank you for your comment!

  2. Great post. "Go for it," indeed!

    ...and Happy Birthday, Karlene! ;-)

  3. Thanks for posting this awesome story!

    I love how from the moment you talked about getting the license, you had it and were ready to go in 5 months. So cool that you participate in the air races! I hope to do some of those one day :)

    Awesome post!
    -Swayne Martin

    1. Swayne, you'll be flying in many races in the days to come. Thank you so much for your comment!

  4. Slightly off-topic and I'm a bit late, but...

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Karlene!


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