Friday, February 27, 2009

Press Release: Flight Plan magazine

I received this press release a couple of weeks ago... and finally got my girdle in gear to place it here...

SkilCraft Publishing Announces The Launch of Flight Plan Magazine.
Celebrating Women and the Aviation Lifestyle.

Frisco, TX, February 4th 2009 SkilCraft Publishing, publisher of The Destination Resource Guide for General Aviation Airports announces the launch of their newest publication, Flight Plan Magazine . Through engaging feature articles, insightful editorials and stunning photography Flight Plan Magazine will proudly cover issues affecting women in all areas of aviation; from the young enthusiast to the Aeronautical engineer including ATC’s, cabin and flight crews, mechanics and women in all areas of the aviation industry.

“ For so long now the resources and outlets for women in aviation have been so limited. I was very excited when I heard that a new magazine would be out that would address some of the more pressing issues that women in all facets of the industry face” says Lynda Meeks, NetJets Pilot and founder of Girls With Wings. The goal of Flight Plan Magazine goes far beyond discussing FMLA and the best flight schools for women; they aim to encourage and inspire the next generation of young women to take flight.

Susan Pruitt, Publisher and Editor of Flight Plan Magazine says “Through our relationships with The Girl Scouts of America, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, CAP and various other schools and programs across the country we hope to encourage young girls to become interested in math, science, aerospace and technology while discovering the joys of aviation. We want them to know at a young age that Yes, girls can fly”.

The March/April launch issue of Flight Plan Magazine will be available at FBO’s across the country and through women’s organizations nationwide. Be sure to look for the Flight Plan Magazine booth at Sun-n-Fun and Oshkosh this year.
For more information visit the website or contact Susan directly at 214-529-8469.

Issue 2.

Issue 3 will feature "The women of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University."

Penelope Pilot: Inspiration for little kids

"Girls need flight plans, not fairy tales."

I love this motto.

It's the motto of Girls With Wings, a site dedicated to inpiring girls and women of all ages to reach for the heights....not to just sit on their duffs and wait for a Prince Charming to come rescue them. (The analogy to our government is rather plain...or even plane, if I may make a pun, as the guv'mint is busy destroying general aviation [as well as individual inititive to stand on one's own two feet and take c harge of one's life] well as litigious lawyers, of course... but that's a rant for another entry.)

The site is announcning The Penelope Pilot Project, "designed to capture the imagination of girls with the character Penelope Pilot, a commercial airline pilot. The project will feature a series of books about Penelope and her friends, along with the characters’ dolls."

“Instead of encouraging our girls to wait for their knights in shining armor, how about encouraging them to explore the night in their shiny airplane?” reads the Ohio-based business’s Web site.

AOPA covered Girls With Wings ambitious plan.

The Penelope program is sponsored by Flight Plan Magazine, a publication for women in aviation that is also launching this spring. The first issue will feature a “character form” of Penelope, a thin foam image that girls can take to airshows and other aviation-related events. They can upload pictures of themselves with the character to

Penelope will make her first cross-country journey in April, when she rides along with ultralight pilot Arty Trost in Trost’s 1984 Maxair Drifter from Oregon to Lakeland, Fla., for Sun ’n Fun.

Lynda Meeks, the founder of Girls With Wings, said she has written a picture book about Penelope that she expects to be out before the EAA AirVenture convention in late July. Girls With Wings will have a booth at the Wisconsin airshow.

Meeks, a private airline pilot, said she started the company about five years ago after she looked for a baby gift for a friend of hers—also a pilot—who was expecting a girl. She could find no aviation-themed products for girls, so she started embroidering airplanes on items herself.

“I thought it was a bigger issue that we weren’t celebrating women in aviation as we should,” she said. She made it her mission to use women in aviation to educate and inspire young girls.

Susan Pruitt, editor of Flight Plan Magazine, contacted Meeks about the Penelope Pilot Project after her daughter found the Girls With Wings Web site. Meeks said the launch of the magazine and the Penelope project are coinciding nicely, and Pruitt has taken the lead on developing a doll. Meeks hopes to develop nine characters in the project, encompassing all aspects of aviation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three sisters: One C-130 pilot, Two Helicopter Pilots

Received my issue of VFW Magazine today. It's the March 2009 issue, and its devoted to women veterans. (I'm not a member of the VFW - my Dad is. He flew C-130s during Vietnam.)

In the Young Vets in Focus Column, three sisters are profiled: Lacy Smith, Kelly Smith, and Amber Smtih.

The three sisters come from White Salmon, Washington. Their grandfather was a pilot with the Army Air Corps during WWII, and became a commercial pilot after the war. There father and uncle were also commercial pilots.

Kelly Smith decided to learn how to fly C-130 transports while a freshman at the University of Arizona, and transferred to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she later became a flight instructor.

Kelly enlisted in the military right after September 11, 2001. She joined the CAlifornia Air National Guard and became a C-130 pilot. After a while she was sent overseas and served a tour in Afghanistan.

Amber enlisted in 2003, in the Army, and was soon flying the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter. In late 2007, her unit was deployed to Afghanistan.

Lacey serves in the Army. She's a chief warrant officer flying a Black Hawk helicopter, and is currently stationed in Afghanistan. Her unit replaced Amber's in that country last fall.

The sisters were also profiled on the National Guard's website at:

and at

America's North Shore Journal

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Free downloads: pilots of the Powder Puff Derby

A new addition to the Winged Victory: Women in Aviation website is a download page, where I'll put free PDFs of indexes for non-fiction books that don't have them, and any other things I come across that need indexing.

For example, I just added 6 PDF files for the pilots, and passengers of the All-Women's Transcontinental Air Race, which ran from 1947 to 1977. Over 1,000 women participated, some only once, some multiple times. For the final race, in 1977, several teams carried passengers to mark the occasion.

The PDFs are as follows:

1. All participants (pilots and passengers) sorted alphabetically
2. Pilots sorted alphabetically
3. Pilots sorted by race year
4. Passengers in 1977 (some were pilots who flew in previous years, others were student pilots, etc.)
5. Pilots who flew in one race
6. Pilots who flew in multiple races

At the moment - that's all that's on the page, the Powder Puff Derby material and an index for Zero 3 Bravo, by Mariana Gosnell, but I hope to add more material on a weekly basis.

So please check it out!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Press Release: Claire Bear's First Solo

Now more than ever little kids, and in particular little girls, need role models and media that will encourage them to reach for the heights.

I look at what passes for "empowerment" these days.... I just picked up a Veronica and Betty (Archies) comic book, which had both girls dressed in black fighting gear like Lara Croft, or Emma Peel... and what are they fighting in the story? A woman trying to steal their boyfriends away from them! Jesus. You've come a long way, baby, indeed.

Anyway, to the point of this post. I've often mentioned Powder Puff Pilot in these entries - I've been using their women's aviation calendar to riff on personalities, places, things, etc, and its owner Sue Hughes, will be appearing at quite a few events in the next several months. I share her press release. (And in particular, there are a couple of Clair Bear books, just right for little girls, and little boys!)

Appearances Scheduled for Powder Puff Pilot
February 10, 2009, Aurora, Colorado – The start-up Colorado-based web retailer of products for feminine flyers, Powder Puff Pilot, has announced several upcoming appearances on the national stage. Owner Sue Hughes, a pilot herself, is traveling to several aviation events to offer a line of products she's developed for women pilots—including a pink logbook and a T-shirt that offers ten reasons "Why Women Prefer Airplanes."

Hughes' first appearance is at the Author's Table at the 20th annual conference for Women in Aviation, International. More than 3,000 are expected to converge on Atlanta from February 26 to 28, where Hughes will be signing her first book, Claire Bear Presents… The Pilot Alphabet. In the 30-page children’s picture book published by LifeVest Publishing, Claire Bear (Ursus Aviatrix) journeys from Alfa to Zulu in a lyrical, rhyming fashion that teaches children the pilot (or NATO) alphabet.

In April, Hughes travels to Lakeland, Florida to attend the 6-day Sun 'n Fun, billed as "Spring Break for Pilots." She’ll be exhibiting with Flight Plan Magazine, a new national publication that will distribute its debut issue at the well-known aviation event. Hughes contributes a monthly column to Flight Plan Magazine, which proudly gives voice to the culture and lifestyle of those who experience life around aircraft—including pilots, line crew workers, mechanics, flight attendants, business owners, and women in all aspects of aviation. Hughes’ column, "Airlooms," honors pioneers who paved the way for those in aviation today.

Finally, Hughes has been invited to attend EAA's AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, "the world’s greatest aviation celebration," as a featured author. At this 7-day event, Hughes expects to debut her second book, Claire Bear's First Solo, in which the pink-clad aviatrix and Powder Puff Pilot spokesbear recalls the thrills, trepidation, and sense of accomplishment she felt during her first "go around the patch." Hughes will also introduce her page-a-day calendar for 2010, This Day in Women’s Aviation, which honors milestones and events of women from aviation’s past.

Powder Puff Pilot was founded in November 2008 by Sue Hughes of Aurora, Colorado. For further information or to order Powder Puff Pilot products, visit or call toll free at 888-801-6628.

LifeVest Publishing, Inc. is an independent publisher and printer located in Centennial, Colorado. Starting as a family-owned business in 2002, LifeVest became a privately owned corporation in 2005. For further information, visit or call toll free at 877-843-1007.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Virgin Atlantic commercial: 25 years, still red hot

Just saw the news today that 29 people have complained to "the advertising watchdog" in England (whoever that might be) that the below commercial, is sexist and demeaning to women.

Well, of what does this commercial consist?

First, of course, all the Virgin attendants are beautiful and dressed in red. We see two stewardesses of another airline - both old, one rather plain and severe looking -- oh, guys, you wouldn't want to fly on *that* plane... we see *one* woman ogle the captain, everyone else is drooling over the women...

Sadly, if I watch an episode of CSI: Miami or even CSI: New York, we get that all episode long. Not to mention the most revolting show I have *ever* not seen (except for the trailers advertising it, "Manswers"), all about women doing their best to make men happy.

I have often complained that media continues to do a disservice to women. Today, women in the western world have the *freedom* to do whatever they want, to being an airplane pilot to a scientist to whatever, and so many of them settle for having a baby and living in a suburb watching TV all their lives while hubby goes out and has an interesting life.

And I think it's because media continues to portray women in such a way that that's w hat they're conditioned for. From day one, both boys and girls are inundated by commercials that show this - the boys always play with the fun, adventurous toys, the girls always play with the dolls, and are always gossiping or eyeing the boys - both sexes learn which sex is "the boss" and which merely exist to provide eye candy.

Indeed, there was once a pretty offensive Jello commercial, aimed at kids. New boy moves into town. Next thing you know, five girls are at his door, each one bearing a plate of jello and eyeing each other jealously. And these were six year olds! If I'd ever eaten jello, I'd have stopped after seeing that commercial!

The 29 complaints
Here in the United States, if one person complains about a book in the library, that book usually disappears immediately. One person expressing a complaint can be pretty powerful. Now if there are only 29 complaints to this watchdog group, bear in mind that for every one person who complains, 10,000 are offended but don't complain. (That's typically what is believed.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Roadable Times: The Flying Car website

I'm re-reading Zero 3 Bravo, as I'm working on a certain project (the nature of which I wont' mention until it's a bit further along) and I came across her paragraph about Dewey Bryan's Bryan III aircar, not to mention Robert Emerson Fulton Jr.'s Airphibian.

I'd known of course that inventors have been trying for a long time to design a workable aircar, but I'd never really done a study of them, but after coming across this paragraph I decided to look the Bryan III and the Airphibian up on the web.

Robert Emerson Fulton Jr., son of Robert Fulton the steamboat guy, was at Wikipedia - among other inventions of his is the Skyhook - also invented the Airphibian. Here's his 2004 obit: and here's his Wikipedia entry.

Leland Dewey Bryan however, does not have a Wikipedia entry. He does have an entry at the Roadable Times, however., which describes his three autocars. Bryan died in 1974 when the Bryan III crashed, apparently due to faulty lock to the wing.

The Roadable Times discusses all the inventors and aircar models. It's pretty cool.

Press Release: Alternative Engines (for Airplanes), Volume 3

Just got this press release today.

I don't have time to look at the book, but I thought I'd share the press release here so that anyone interested can find out about it. (I'm not affiliated with this book, it's author, or the magazine that's publishing it. This is an FYI only, and I have no knowledge of whether it is worth buying or not - that's up to you!)

Alternative Engines, Volume 3
In-depth Ideas and Documentation for Powering Light Experimental Aircraft, from CONTACT! Magazine
CONTACT! Magazine’s Mick Myal has put together another fact-filled edition of alternative power for aircraft. For nearly two decades, CONTACT! Magazine has provided solid information on automotive conversions, alternative and emerging technologies in aviation power, on reduction drives, ignition and fuel systems – and it has shown a sometimes skeptical public that there are indeed viable alternatives to the classic aviation engine.

With straightforward writing, hundreds of clear photos and drawings, and practical tips for constructing everything from redrives to cooling systems, Alternative Engines also offers tons of information on the rest of the system. GM Powertrain staff engineer Al Cline explains the difference between detonation and pre-ignition – and why we should care which is which.

Al Wick explains how to estimate the probability of component failure, and how to assess the risks posed by those components’ loss. NASA engineers discuss the plausibility of mainstreaming automotive power into aviation, and cover the biggest objections. Automotive electronics systems – do you understand these, since they stopped using points and distributors? Cooling myths and practical solutions: they’re in here, too.

How many ways can one build a reduction drive, and what is available commercially? What about driveshafts and extensions? Fuel injection vs. carburetion? Diesel or gasoline? Rotary, turbine, or piston? What does a motor mount have to do, other than hold the engine in place? Educated discussions, clearly written by proponents as well as advocates, make this stimulating and informative reading.

The enormous diversity in automotive power is influencing aircraft builders, and attributes of such diverse powerplants are discussed and dissected: Cadillac Northstar, Chevy V-8 and V-6 of 3.1, 3.4, and 4.3 liters; B-O-P/Rover aluminum V-8; Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Opel and other diesels, turbines; 2-cylinder, 4-piston designs; Suzuki, Corvette, VW, Chrysler V-10. OK – how about a Chevy-powered Mustang? Can do.

Additional information can be found in the pages, as well: making a Plexiglas windscreen; landing gear modifications;

It sounds like a lot, and it is. It’s 300+ pages, written by internationally-recognized experts, industry movers, and experienced home-builders. It’s hundreds of clear black and white photos, charts, and drawings. Alternative Engines, Volume 3 is for the person who is considering alternative power, for the person who is considering upgrading systems (fuel, cooling, ignition), and for the person who simply wants to catch up to the technology.

Available and shipping now:
$42 (USA), $47 (Canada and Mexico), or $55 (overseas), shipping included, at

Press Release prepared by Tim Kern INK.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Events in Aviation History, Jan 22 - Jan 31

Willa Brown, first Black woman to earn a commercial pilot's license and first Black officer in the Civil Air Patrol, was born on this day in 1906, in Glasgow, Kentucky.

On this day in 1999, the Sydney Morning Herald did a nostalgia piece on Australian Peggy Kelman. She flew from England to Australia in 1936.

On Jan 24, 1927, Park Kyung-won, age 25, earned her 3rd class pilot's license, becomong Korea's first civilian woman pilot. Kwon Ki-ok was their first military pilot, having been trained by the Chinese Air Force. She was only 32 when she died in in a crash during a flight betweem Manchukuo and Japan.

On January 26, 1930, after 3 hours of instruction at Lindbergh Field, Peaches Wallace, age 20, becomes the second woman to warn a 3rd class glider license with a 36-second flight over San Diego. (Photo of Peaches)

On January 27, 1909, Jessie E. Woods, founder and performer in the Ace FLying Circus, is born in Wichita.

January 28, 1986. Spae shuttle Challenger disintegrates. The seven-person crew is killed, incluidng mission specialist Judith Resnick and the teacher-in-space Christa McAuliffe. (Also killed were Francis "Dick" Scobee, Commander, Michael J. Smith, Pilot, Ellison Onizuka, Mission Specialist, Ronald McNair, Mission Specialist
and Gregory Jarvis, Payload specialist.)

January 29, 1979. Frontier Airlines hires Emily Howell Warner, the first female airline pilot hired in the United States.

On January 30, 1929, the 17-year-old Elinor Smith takes off from Mitchel Field, NY in an open-cockpit biplane. She will set a new woman's solo endurance record of 13 hrs, 16 minutes, and 45 seconds.

January 31, 2005. Durng the Iraqi elections, Nicole Malachowski is one of several Air Force pilots providing cover over Bagdad. She would log 188 flight hours in combat before becoming the first woman to join the USAF Thunderbirds display team.

Source: The Women in Aviation Desktop Calendar, offered by Powderpuff Pilot.