My great-grandmother was an Ehrhart. She would refer to Amelia as “Cousin Amelia”, although they had never met. Their last names were spelled differently, Amelia’s being Earhart, but she is my 10th cousin and I think she would be really proud of what happened this past week.
I was invited to take part in the worldwide event, Women of Aviation Week, or WOAW. Its goal is to expose women and girls to aviation careers. Currently, women represent just over 6% of pilots worldwide, a huge disparity.
Pilots, both men and women, donate their time, aircraft, and gas to give free flights all week long to women and girls of all ages. Unfortunately, last Monday (the day I was to volunteer) was extremely windy in Northern Colorado and the event was canceled for the day. Luckily, the rest of the week was gorgeous and today I was able to take the flight.
I’ve been flying many times in my life but today was the first time I was the pilot. It was exhilarating, a bit scary and I was sweating a lot. My friend, Kathi was in the back and I felt a lot of pressure not to kill her. The real pilot, Luke, was fantastic and gave me a mini lesson as we flew around looking at the Rocky Mountains, the Budweiser brewery and Colorado State University. Luke took over for the textbook landing.
I’d like to give a very sincere thank you to all of the people who helped make this event such a huge success. What a wonderful gift you have given so many of us. I think Cousin Amelia would be very proud!
Cover photo: Wikimedia Commons
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Hunter S. Thompson