Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pretty Pilots in Pink ... For Christmas

A press release from Powder Puff Pilot:

Powder Puff Pilot products are available at as well as about 40 U.S. retailers. For further information or to order, visit the website or call toll-free at 888-801-6628.

October 15, 2009, Aurora, Colorado – Denver-based web retailer Powder Puff Pilot is taking steps to make the airplane cockpit more feminine-friendly. Sue Hughes, owner of the company that specializes in designing and selling products targeted to women pilots, announced her new line of pink aviation headsets. She hopes to attract more women and girls to the cockpit with her line of pilot gear for women, which also includes a pink pilot logbook, pink seat cushions, and aviator sunglasses with pink-tinted lens, to name a few.

Hughes partnered with a leading aviation headset manufacturer for a unique line of FAA-approved headsets with earcups that are bubble-gum pink instead of the usual olive, gray, or black.

"I’m not so naive to think that a pink headset is all it takes to get women to embrace aviation," explained Hughes, a flight instructor herself, "but the more we can accommodate the tastes and proclivities of women, the more welcome they’ll feel in the cockpit." The Powder Puff Pilot headsets, with a pink company logo emblazoned on one of its pink earcups, comes in a Passive Noise Reduction (PNR) model and an Active Noise Reduction (ANR) model, which uses battery power to further reduce unwanted sound.

How many women pilots are there? That depends on whom you ask. According to the International Society of Women Pilots, about 5% of airline pilots worldwide are women—approximately 4,000. Of course, there are plenty of pilots besides those in the airlines.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that in the U.S., as of 2008, women comprised 6% of all pilots. That’s double the percentage of 80 years ago when The Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, was founded with 99 of the world’s 117 known aviatrixes. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons, the strides that women have made in most other sectors have not yet translated to aviation.

Another strategy Hughes is using to attract women to aviation is by starting young—appealing particularly to the 3 to 8-year-old crowd—with a series of picture books featuring a pink-clad aviatrix bear.

"Each book in the series features Claire Bear, an aerobatic pilot that I hope girls can relate to. I want them to picture themselves in a cockpit," she said. "Of course, there’s nothing wrong with boys following along with Claire’s exploits, too!"

In the first book, The Pilot Alphabet, Claire teaches readers "Alfa," "Bravo," "Charlie,"” and the rest of the phonetic alphabet that pilots use to communicate on the radio. In the second, Claire Bear’s First Solo, Claire reminisces about the first time she flew by herself, introducing aviation terms such as "centerline," "throttle," and "downwind." Hughes has two more books in the pipeline that will debut in 2010: What Pilots Fly, where Claire describes different types and missions of aircraft, and Claire Bear Flies to Oshkosh, where the barnstorming bear attends the world’s biggest celebration of aviation.

Powder Puff Pilot was founded by Sue Hughes in 2008. In addition to children’s books, Hughes compiled This Day in Women’s Aviation, a page‑a-day calendar now available for 2010.

Visit or call toll-free at 888-801-6628.

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