Fly It Forward 2013

Fun, inspiring, and educational best describes the 2013 Fly It Forward day on Saturday, March 9. Women aviators and supporters of space and aviation gathered at Arthur Dunn Air Park in celebration of 50 years of Women in Space. Private pilots brought their aircraft and provided free first flights to women and girls. Of course, I hauled my camera along and had a chance to snap photos of faces full of expectation, zeal, and triumph.

Mom and daughter team, Amy and Cheyene Dokos, take their first flight in N1822H

Mom and daughter team, Amy and Cheyene Dokos, take their first flight in N1822H piloted by Elisabeth Wuethrich from N. Palm Beach county.

Barbara Ganson, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and former NASA employee, planned the day with support from the Gulfstream, GoldCoast, and Spaceport Ninety-Nines, Inc (women’s aviation chapters) and various other organizations.

Florida Spaceport 99 Mary Anne Demmer

Florida Spaceport 99 Mary Anne Demmer

Florida GoldCoast 99s prepare certificates for all the flight participants.

Florida GoldCoast 99s prepare certificates for all the flight participants.

A large contingent of Florida Atlantic University women in engineering, belonging to Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority, joined the fun. Some missed out on the photo as they were in flight for the shot. Three gals in the photo mentioned their majors, which show the diversity and depth of interests in this group of women; Caitlin Miller- Mechanical Engineering, Isabella Pinos- Ocean Engineering, and Heidi Levine- Computer Science.

Florida Atlantic University Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority

Florida Atlantic University Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority

The Civil Air Patrol marshaled aircraft and manned key positions to assist with the day.

CAP Captain Sue Martin (Civil Air Potrol) is manning the gate to the flightline. Sue became involved with the CAP when her son became interested in flying. The CAP also will be volunteering at the TICO Warbird Airshow coming up March 22-24, 2013. Behind Sue is Heidi and her daughters, Angelica and Samantha Jaksetic awaiting their first flight.

CAP Captain Sue Martin (Civil Air Patrol) is manning the gate to the flightline. Sue became involved with the CAP when her son became interested in flying. The CAP also will be volunteering at the TICO Warbird Airshow coming up March 22-24, 2013. Behind Sue is Heidi and her daughters, Angelica and Samantha Jaksetic awaiting their first flight.

Group getting ready to go up with Pilot Wuethrich. Note CAP in background helping marshal aircraft.

Group getting ready to go up with Pilot Wuethrich. Note CAP in background helping marshal aircraft.

NASA sent a contingent to interact with the girls at the event, and several commercial and private aviation pilots chatted with attendees, as did representatives for the EAA (Oshkosh)/Young Eagles program. There were other organizations that I missed, and would love to mention, so please let me know and I’ll add you to this blog.

First Officer Terry Ryan flies for Southwest Airlines

First Officer Terry Ryan flies for Southwest Airlines

American Airline Captain Kimberly Lowe

American Airline Captain Kimberly Lowe

Louisa King flies Boeing 737 charter for Miami Air International

Louisa King flies Boeing 737 charter for Miami Air International

Ruth Jacobs set the record for the fastest time flying around the world in a single-engine airplane, landing on all 7 continents.

Ruth Jacobs set the record for the fastest time flying around the world in a single-engine airplane, landing on all 7 continents.

Fun photo of Ruth and Louisa together

Fun photo of Ruth and Louisa together

Elisabeth Wuethrichan, engineer from Switzerland, came to pilot for the event with her hubby who is also a pilot.

Elisabeth Wuethrich, an engineer from Switzerland, came to pilot for the event with her hubby who is also a pilot.

99Pilots

Left to right: Florida Gold Coast 99s
Ursala Davidson
Kimberly Lowe
Tamra Sheffman (N37TJ is her aircraft)
Elisabeth Wuethrich

The efforts of these volunteers came to fruition with the participant’s smiles and often joy at surviving their flights. Congrats to all gals who braved their first flights and even bigger thanks to those who took the effort to give their daughters and family members this wonderful experience. The following three photos show daughters Angelica and Samantha climbing out of the aircraft, soon followed by mom Heidi who gave them both an excited hug. Heidi, a graduate of Embry Riddle and former safety engineer at Kennedy Space Center, wanted to introduce her daughters to the world of aviation. Great job mom!

Big smiles as Angelica Jaksetic climbs out of an aircraft. This delightful photo was picked up by the international organization Women Of Aviation Week and put in a front page story on their website http://www.womenofaviationweek.org. Five thousand women and girls received discovery flights at over seventy airports this year.

Samantha Jaksetic climbing out of aircraft after flight.
Followed by sister Samantha Jaksetic. Pilot Tom Powers, owner of the Bonanza aircraft.
Mom Heidi gives her daughters a congratulatory hug after the ride of their lives.

Mom Heidi gives her daughters a congratulatory hug.

I snapped a few photos of the planes flying for the event. One I missed, but wanted to mention to show the variety, was a powered glider. A King Air belonging to the local jump school also dropped jumpers for the crowd to watch.

A Piper Cherokee carrying a mom and daughter. Let me know if anyone can identify them. I'd appreciate it.

A Piper Cherokee carrying a mom and daughter. Let me know if anyone can identify them. I’d appreciate it.

King Air jump Plane located at Arthur Dunn Air Park

King Air 200 (retired from the Army) jump plane located at Arthur Dunn Air Park

Cub used for Fly It Forward flights.

Cub used for Fly It Forward flights.

Awaiting the next passengers on Women of Aviation Day 2014

Awaiting the next passengers on Women of Aviation Day 2014

I can’t wait to see what happens next year on Women of Aviation Day.

If anyone has information to add, please drop me a line. You can contact me through my website (see the page at the beginning of this blog).

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Sandy has a monthly drawing taken from those who comment on her blogs. The one for March 2013 is on. Comment and your name will go into a drawing for a free ebook of Repossessed by Sandy Parks or one of author Julie Moffett’s Lexi series. Once in a while I may even have something special to win. Your choice. You’ll have a month after names are pulled to check back and see if you are a winner. Good luck and  hope to hear from you.

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12 Responses to Fly It Forward 2013

  1. Lorraine Lanier says:

    There is nothing better to see that the face of a child (female or male) who has taken their first flight. My nephew was in a program at his high school in Boynton Beach, FL as a part of Embry-Riddle in Daytona. We put on a fundraiser at the Lantana airport in conjunction with a local EAA group. As we finished shoping for the food, we then went around to local business looking for donations, we always followed up with…”even if you can’t donate PLEASE bring your child, your nieces, nephews, neighborhood kids and give them the gift of their first flight.” I am proud to say that we flew 135 kids! I just wish that there was a group of female fliers who would take some of the young females in the program under their wing. They have had a Sportstar donated to the program and they have an Awesome female flight instructor. But…the plane isn’t really made for continual flying, like for instructions. The kids each get 10 hours free, but if the plane is grounded waiting for work on it or parts to be found, no one gains any flying time.
    I do have to say, because of this high school program, my nephew was able to do a 18 month A&P program in 11 months due to the instruction at the high school and finished up at ERAU, Daytona.

  2. Louisa King says:

    Great coverage of the day’s events!! It was a great event! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and viewing the pictures! Thank you very much!

    • Sandy says:

      I just took photos. The real stars were all the aviators like you who shared their love of flying with the girls. You’re a wonderful model for girls to look up to.

    • c.mercier says:

      I had the pleasure of meeting Louisa King , shes a wonderful person and i wish her all the best .

  3. Jill Archer says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Wonderful pictures. What a fantastic, inspiring event!

  4. Bill Weiler says:

    Great article – now if I can recruit a new PAO/PIO to CAP. I look forward to next year and more of the same fun and education, and I’ll be educated enough to not sunburn my almost bald head again. BTW: For those not familiar with the 99s, Amelia Earhart was their first president in 1931. Sharon and I got a real education on the 99s years ago when weather forced us to spend the night at the Amelia Earhart Airfield in Atchison Kansas – giving us plenty of time to see all the memorabilia during the night.

  5. robakers says:

    Thank you for doing this. I am sure the young women learned so much. I dont know if you follow this blog. If you don’t, check it out! http://karlenepetitt.blogspot.com/

    Karlene has the exact same motivations as you. I think you guys are wonderful.

    • Sandy says:

      Thanks for the complement. I did get a quick chance to meet Karlene when I bought a book from her at the Women In Aviation conference last weekend. Her aviation blog is in-depth and incredibly informative.

  6. Barbara Ganson says:

    These are stunning photographs that captured the essence of Fly It Forward Titusville.
    Fabulous!

    • Sandy says:

      Thanks. I enjoyed shooting them and seeing the excitement of all those involved. The planners, like you Barbara, are applauded for the super effort!

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