Friday's Fabulous Flyer
Who is Darby Bradshaw?
Darby is said to be "every older mans regret and younger mans dream." She is also the co-star in Flight For Control
, and the leading lady in Flight For Safety
. And what a lady she is.
Darby is sassy, feisty and lots of fun. She's loyal to her friends, drinks way too much coffee and loves to fly. She's been known to dance for her friends, play strip poker, and drink tequila shots. Her favorite game: Truth or dare. But on a serious side, when she told me her story of how she began flying, it was not unlike many women pilots who took to the sky in the early days.
Will you tell us how and why you began flying?
Darby: Sigh. Sips Starbucks. "I began this journey trying to prove myself to everyone. But what I found in process was a family. Pilots are a pretty awesome group. They're more or less intelligent... sometime more, sometimes less... but they are funny and have brass balls. Well, some of us have brass ovaries, but that's another story...
The naked truth is, I learned how to fly and was in control of a plane far beyond feeling like like I was in control my life. But I also learned a huge lesson during those early days of flying. I realized there was nothing that I could not do. I was not worthless. I was pretty awesome and one of the elite. I also learned that I did not need to prove myself to anyone, because I had a license that said I was God.... Oh wait, I mean pilot." (Insert a wink here that only Darby can do)
Darby Bradshaw was born to fly. She may not have known it at the time, but like many women pilots in the early years, most women took to this male dominated profession to prove something to someone. Most often it was to themselves. They fought battles of the sexes in the early years and paved the way for those who followed. Times had changed. So Darby thought.
When her airline shutdown, as emulated in Flight For Control
, and merged with another in Flight For Safety,
she was stapled to the bottom of her seniority list and transported back twenty years in time. What was more painful than a stapling? As Darby says, "Ripping that fourth stripe off my shoulder."
The remainder of this story is yet to come...
While Darby is larger than life she keeps a low profile so not to cause grief at work. And while I'm able to write about her deepest secrets and sometimes most intimate moments, she still has yet to allow a real photo of her to emerge. I have already decided who will play Darby in the Movie. None other than...
It's more than the fact they look like they could be sisters, but Amy's versatility would bring out the best Darby. Speaking of the best, I have a few questions for our heroine.
Karlene: Tell us what's going on in the romance department. Giving up on pilots yet?
Darby: (Laughing) "You would think I'd learn!" (Serious) "Everyone believes that being a single captain, flying the world, and having no ties is enchanting. But you know... it gets old. There's nothing like having someone to come home to and just hang out with. They make you coffee in the morning and you don't have to get dressed up and go out to dinner first, to have sex. Ooops. I didn't just say that did I?"
(My turn to laugh.) So tell me... since you were Kathryn's side kick in Flight For Control
, but the protagonist in Flight For Safety
, which story was the most fun for you?
Darby: Grinning. "That's a tough question. The reality of all our stories is that sometimes we have to go through hell before we can find heaven. We have to deal with the hard stuff to get to the good part of life. And the reality is, that hard stuff is so emotional that it's kind of a rush. So what did I like better? Every part of my story has given me something to learn. I laughed and cried, lost and loved. I liked it all. And kicking a little ass when needed was pretty awesome."
How do you feel about the automated world with the plane you fly?
Darby: "I love it. I hate it. Both equally powerful emotions. I don't fly like I used to. I think it's making me rusty. That saying that Airbus takes excellent pilots and crummy pilots and makes them both average is so true. I'm not going to complain...as I heard rumors you are going to do something about it." (Wink)
Before we let you go, what advice would you like to give to our readers?
Darby: "Don't be afraid to be yourself. If you want to jump on the table...do it. If you want to dance naked in the rain...do it. And whatever you do, don't fear. Don't fear failure...it teaches you humility and gives you strength. Don't fear being vulnerable. There will always be people who will be critical, so give up that thought of needing to being perfect... which is impossible anyway. And stop picking on yourself. You are awesome just how you are...Believe in yourself."
"Life is way too short to give up a moment of compassion, caring, and love. I just want to ask everyone what they are waiting for? This is your life... live it!"
(Deep breath. Sip of coffee.) "And read Flight For Control and Flight For Safety ... especially if you want to know a little more about me."
Huge smile and wink.
For all of you who have read
What do you like best about Darby?
Enjoy the Journey!