Thursday, July 19, 2012

Plane Crazy Salutes Women PIlots

From Aerotech News: Plane Crazy Salutes Women Pilots

This BD-5 was restored as a non-flyable simulator by NASA photographer Tony Landis and is complete with sound effects.

Father’s Day weekend for 2012 included a salute to women in aviation and aerospace for the Mojave Transportation Museum as part of Plane Crazy Saturday June 16.
This month’s event included booths for the Ninety-Nines, Women in Aviation today, Society of Women Engineers, the Air Force Association, the Antelope Valley Sea Cadet Squadron, NASA and XCOR.
Every month PCS features a unique collection of aircraft and a guest presentation.
This month, in honor of female aviators, the presenter was Lyn “Sweet Cheeks” McNeely, Instructor Flight Test Engineer, at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. After a 20-year career in the Air Force in which she worked a lot of different flight test assignments, McNeely had the fortune to get what she described as a “dream job”, teaching at TPS.
Guest speaker, Lyn “Sweet Cheeks” McNeely, is a flight test engineer instructor, at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB.
McNeely spoke on the TPS and its various programs as well as her personal experiences in some of the aircraft. She has had flight time in a B-52, F-15, C-17, F-16, HH-60, MC-130 and an MH-53. Her longest mission was 21.3 hours, testing systems in a B-52 on a flight from Edwards to the intersection of the equator and the international dateline.
McNeely added that her “proudest moment” was receiving her glider pilot’s license. “Some of my heroes are the first women in aviation,” said McNeely, “I liked Amelia Earhart, I love Poncho Barnes, I think she’s a really interesting character. My real heroes are the WASPs from World War II, they had it a lot harder than I did going through and they’re excellent role models. They just did a super job contributing to our mission, it’s a real treat for me.”
Along the flight line were several unique aircraft including Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor, JoAnn Painter’s Meyer-built Little Toot which she calls “Sweet Toot” and a BD-5 restored by NASA photographer Tony Landis. What is unique about this BD-5 is that it has been restored as a non-flyable simulator. Landis hopes to “inspire” children by allowing them to sit in the cockpit at events like PCS and air shows. According to Landis, it took just under eight months to fully restore the airplane and was “in pretty rough shape” when he began the project.
The finished BD-5 is equipped with a sound card that recreates the sounds of actual flight for the particular type of airplane. For accuracy’s sake the sound changes with the movement of the throttle and the rear propeller rotates to complete the experience. The faces of the children at PCS lit up during their turn in the simulator.


Jeanette Nurse said...

Hi, Cathy:

I am looking to get a hold of you. I am all about supporting women in aviation. I have a book out called FLYING SOLO, based on a true story of a 1960s New Orleans housewife that learned to fly. I also write a blog where I am going to feature Belles of Steel (strong, dynamic women who changed their part of the world). I was looking for a way to contact you through the blog. Contact me at

Jeanette Nurse said...

Hi, Cathy:

I love your articles. I am all about supporting women in aviation. My book, FLYING SOLO is based on a true story about a 1960s New Orleans housewife who learns to fly, then steals a plane! I also write a blog that features Belles of Steel (stories about real life strong, dynamic woman who challenge the norm) I plan to feature Jackie Cochran.
Please find a way to contact me!

Cathy Gale said...

Hello, Jeanette

I've just wasted four hours trying to contact you. Why don't you have your email at your website?

I tried to post a message on your blog but would have had to sign up to wordpress to do it. Can't log in any other way because my stupid laptop doesn't give me any other options.

In any event, MY email is on my blog. You want to talk to me about an interview - and I'd like to interview you - email me!