Tuesday, December 31, 2013

See the WASP float in the ROSE PARADE tomorrow

This is a news release from the International Women's Air and Space Museum!

Totally cool

WASP Float in Rose Parade
The WASP (Women's Air Force Service Pilots) will be honored with a float in the New Year's Day Rose Parade tomorrow. Eight WASP plan to be present on the float. (Photo credit- CBS)

"They're all about 90 years old, but they're coming and they're saying, 'Give me a blanket and hot coffee, and we'll be fine,' " said Kate Landdeck, vice president of the nonprofit Wingtip-to-Wingtip Assn., which is sponsoring the float. (LA Times)

The theme for this 125th Rose Parade is "Dreams Come True." The WASP certainly fit this- doing whatever they needed to do to follow their passion of flying and serving their country. For many years these unsung heroes were forgotten, receiving military status and awards decades later. 

We hope that you will be one of the millions of people watching as these amazing women ride in style.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

PR: PilotWorkshops.com Celebrates 10,000th WINGS Course Completion

December 3, 2013 - Nashua, NH - PilotWorkshops.com announced that the FAA has now issued over 10,000 WINGS course completion credits for their online pilot proficiency training courses. The company has been creating WINGS-approved training programs since 2006.  “Many of our customers participate in the FAA WINGS program and appreciate the convenience of being able to continue their proficiency training while earning WINGS credits,” said Pilotworkshops’ founder Mark Robidoux.

National FAASTeam Manager Kevin Clover stated, “Pilotworkshops has been a strong supporter of the WINGS program.  They have helped thousands of pilots maintain and improve their proficiency and safety.”

The primary benefit of the FAA WINGS program (as found on the FAASafety.gov web site)  is, “the added level of safety and professionalism that is obtained through adoption of a reliable recurrent training program.”  Another major benefit is the fact that, “When you participate in the program throughout each year so as to maintain a current phase at the Basic Level, you will always have a current flight review. Your flight review date will move as you continue your safety education by participation in accredited FAASTeam activities…” .

The majority of the course completion credits issued by PilotWorkshops are through its IFR Mastery program. This monthly, scenario-based training uses a combination of video, audio, and forum discussion to place a pilot in a challenging instrument flight scenario, test their decision-making, and provide expert advice and tips for handling the scenario.

PilotWorkshops.com LLC was founded in 2005 and is best-known for their free “Pilot’s Tip of the Week” emails received by over 120,000 pilots each week.  Created by their roster of nationally known flight instructors and experts, these tips cover single pilot IFR operations, weather, airmanship, ATC communications, emergencies and more using a unique, multi-media format.  PilotWorkshops also creates and sells a range of pilot proficiency programs including their IFR Mastery scenario-based training.

Donate to the WASP Museum

I had blogged a few days ago about receiving a WASP calendar (sending a calendar must be the "gift" of choice these days...got one for the Redtails and one for Pacific Theatre Museum as well).

Anyway, the WASP Museum, located in Sweetwater, Texas, on the airfield where most of the WASP trained during World War II, is gathering funds to expand and also to rebuild the air traffic control tower there.

I also received a remembrance card to fill out, which will go into the tower, and there's a place on the back where you can write why you admire the WASP.

For more details, check out the www.waspmuseum.org, or call (325) 235-0099. (The museum is in Texas, their fund raising arm is in Washington DC, apparently.)

You can donate any amount, but they request the minimum be $38. 38 is the number of WASP who gave their lives during WWII to serve their country.

I'll prepare a proper text list of there heroes' names later. For now, if you'd like to read about them, check out this site:

I was there in 2010, and will return in 2014 (after I participate in a Scrabble Tournament in Irvine Texas!)


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meet the young woman who test flies the world's biggest planes for a living

From The Telegraph:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-business/10458084/Female-pilots-Meet-the-young-woman-who-tests-the-worlds-biggest-planes-for-a-living.html

Isabelle de Montet-Guerin, 32, is Airbus’ youngest and first British female test pilot, with almost 15 years of experience. Her childhood passion has led her to fly some of the largest aeroplanes in the world.

Isabelle de Montet-Guerin: 'I grew up with flying, my dad was in the air force'
Isabelle de Montet-Guerin: 'I grew up with flying, my dad was in the air force' 
I grew up with flying, my dad was in the Royal Air Force. He fostered the interest I had and both my parents were fantastic, so anything I wanted to do that was aviation related; museums and learning, they’d try and help. After he died I had my first flying lesson aged 12, which was a tribute to him. Once I’d done it I was absolutely hooked.
My mum said: "Fine, if you want the licence you’re going to have to earn it yourself because I just don’t have the money." So I started washing cars and doing all sorts of odd-jobs to raise the money, and eventually the air force very kindly gave me two scholarships which topped off the private pilot’s licence fund.
It’s the combination of artistry and science that grips me about aviation; the two items would be considered incompatible in most jobs, but you really are required to be both an artist and a scientist. It’s a dream come true.
As a production test pilot based in Hamburg, my working day begins around 7am with a "rejected take-off", which is like driving at 115mph in your car to make sure the brakes work. After that we may fly up to twice a day. If we’re conducting a first flight profile, which is the very first time a new aeroplane will take off, every system needs to be tested very thoroughly; from flight controls through to hydraulics, fuel and electrics. The crew can consist of up to 11 people if we’re testing the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner, but more commonly when we’re testing the A320, there’ll be four of us; two of whom are pilots. We tend to finish around 7pm each day.
I’m the first British female test pilot. When I went to the Empire Test Pilot School to study, they were convinced I am either the only, or one of the very few. I do have a female colleague in Hamburg, who's French, and we fly together quite a lot, which is fantastic. I really don’t think about being one of the very few women in the crew, it honestly never crosses my mind.
It feels great to be where I am, I feel very privileged to be in this position as I’m only 32, the youngest test pilot they’ve ever hired. I’ve got a lot of friends in Toulouse now and I get to see them two or three times a month, which is great.
I’ve been with Airbus for 18 months now, and when I started I was based in Toulouse, then moved to Hamburg. Previously I spent 10 years with British Airways flying a variety of brilliant aeroplanes, and just under two years with a company called Cobham FRA working in flight refuelling aviation, and electronic warfare; simulated military attacks on the navy, that kind of thing.
I’m really happy where I am, and I have another 30-odd years to give to the company, which is great. This is the biggest aircraft manufacturer in Europe, so this is where it’s at – I’d recommend it to anyone who has a love of aviation. I’m quite healthy, not saying my body is a temple, but I don’t drink or smoke.
The only problem is you can’t have a social life on the side, it’s really very hard work. You need to have a lot of dedication, and to be prepared to study – and I mean study into the night. I come back to the UK about twice a year, so I don’t get the chance to see family that much. You need to not think about the hours you’ll have to put in, or the times you can’t go to certain events because the most important thing is making sure you’re on top of your game.
When I was at test pilot school I worked six days a week, 16 hours a day, sometimes more, and the only thing I can remember from that course was how happy I was. You’ll work extremely hard for years and years, but the rewards at the end of it are beyond worth it. Flying the biggest passenger plane in the world has to be the most rewarding thing about it. I genuinely don’t consider it a job – it’s fun.
Isabelle is a test pilot for plane manufacturer Airbus
Words as told to Rhiannon Williams