November 13, 2009 — Friday the 13th — was not the day it all began, but it was the day I soloed.
Solo. A simple four-letter word. A four-letter word of such magnitude — and so long coming. A lotta takeoffs, a lotta landings, and a whole bunch of stalls for good measure. The ones I performed in the air AND the ones I encountered on the ground when life got in the way of my pursuit of my Sport Pilot license.
Truth: it all began when, at age 13, I read about Amelia Earhart — the world famous lost aviatrix. But the desire to fly, to follow Amelia into the wild blue but NOT into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, got put on hold for many years while life occurred.
The spark was lit again when I met my first WASP, and then another and yet another, and then many. The Women Airforce Service Pilots, the women who flew for the US Army in World War II. It is because of them, because of their profound influence on me over the last 22 years, that I took flight and stayed with it. I earned my license on July 1, 2011. My biggest cheerleaders were my 90-year-old WASP friends who had done the same so very many years ago.
I know the WASP. I am friends with many WASP. I travel with the WASP to aviation events. I am, to some degree, a combined escort and mascot. I write about them. I edit their newsletter. I do oral history interviews with them. I have written numerous magazine articles about them. I have written seven books about them — four of them published to date.
So, being a modern woman, I am going to try blogging about the WASP in an attempt to better acquaint a still non-believing / unbelieving world about what these women really did way back in 1942-44. Their story is a remarkable as well as many-faceted one. Stay tuned.First post