Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kim's Solo!

Hi All,

Kim, one of our Girls With Wings, just soloed yesterday! I am so proud of her. Watch the video here: Her instructor is narrating, and he's obviously pleased. When he says, "More chirping, Wow" it means great landing - that's the sound of the tires touching the pavement. Even the tower controller tells her "Nice Job!"

Kim found us on the net many months ago and sought out guidance on her voyage to her pilot's license. She is a wonderful young woman with so much potential that I feel so blessed to have met her. She has also volunteered so much of her time to Girls With Wings, attending airshows and conferences and spreading the word about us wherever she goes. She is currently looking for an Air Guard job and I wish her the best of luck, she deserves it!

Way to go, Kim!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Pope's Airplane

When I first started classes on the Beechjet, we did a pre-flight of the aircraft with an instructor. He called it "The Pope's Airplane" because it was holy. In other words, all those drain holes on the bottom of the aircraft.

What are they all for? From the air cycle machine (or air conditioner), fuel drains, battery drains, etc. Mostly we just check during pre-flight to see that they are "unobstructed."

Here is a closer picture.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Static Wicks

Part of the reason the airplane had to have maintenance this week was because we had a broken static wick. According to our MEL (Minimum Equipment List), we have to have at least one static per moveable surface on the airplane.
Why and what are static wicks...?

According to Wikipedia:

Static dischargers are commonly known as static wicks or static discharge wicks. They are used on aircraft to allow the continuous satisfactory operation of onboard navigation and radio communication systems. During adverse charging conditions, they limit the potential static buildup on the aircraft and control interference generated by static charge. Static dischargers are not lightning arrestors and do not reduce or increase the likelihood of an aircraft being struck by lightning. Static dischargers are subject to damage or significant changes in electrical resistance as a result of lightning strike to the aircraft, and should be inspected after a lightning strike to ensure proper static discharge operation. Static dischargers are fabricated with a wick of wire or a conductive element on one end, which provides a high resistance discharge path between the aircraft and the air. They are attached on some aircraft to the ailerons, elevators, rudder, wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizer tips.
So now you know!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Research Study

Hi Everyone!

My flying partner and I have been assigned to a broken airplane for the first three days of our tour - hence not a lot of flying to talk about here. I did want to pass along a link to this research project being taken on by Libby Culpepper, a graduate student, completing a doctorate degree in Human Factors Psychology at Wichita State University. Her research interests include human performance modeling, workload and cognitive assessment, and crash investigations. Habit accommodation is a study investigating the age-related effects of cognitive and sensory abilities on daily and flight performances.

The Wichita State University Human Factors Laboratory is conducting an important study of the effects of age-related changes in vision, audition, motor control, and cognition in pilots. Libby is collecting data for this study via an on-line survey. Here's the link:

The survey is anonymous and takes 20-30 minutes to complete. The researcher is interested in collecting data from all kinds of pilots -- young, old, male, female, commercial, private, fixed wing, rotorcraft -- you name it: If you fly any kind of aircraft, you're eligible to participate. All nationalities are welcome. The survey questionnaire is in English. While the study focuses on pilots, the researcher also wants to include some non-pilots in her sample so that she'll have some comparison data. So, if you're not a pilot but would still like to participate, you can be part of the comparison group by clicking on the link above and filling in the survey as a non-pilot. One more thing: The more data collected, the more reliable the results, so please pass the word about this very worthwhile study to your colleagues so that they can participate, too. Since the researcher is trying to publicize her survey as widely as possible, it would be greatly appreciated if you would post the link to the survey in your crew lounge or on a forum where you are a member. Use this easy link:

By participating in this study, you will have the option to enter in a prize drawing for a Sporty’s Pilot Shop gift certificate or cash. There will be four drawings in all. If you need more information, please contact Libby Culpepper at

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Oh, I wish Girls With Wings was profitable enough to offer scholarships...

Since I'm not, I do try very hard to post scholarship information that is sent to me or that I come across on the Girls With Wings message board (as well as the Generate LIFT, Inc. one).

Judy Rice, of Careers in Aviation, just sent me a couple.

Association for Women in Aviation Maintenance Scholarships & Awards 2008


National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees $2,000 Scholarship Application 2007

There is money out there!