Friday, May 30, 2008

Slats and Flaps

There is a conversation going on right now on the Girls With Wings message board about taking your private and having to learn all KINDS of new things. Yes, there's a lot to learn when becoming a pilot, but sometimes we need to take baby steps...

I am not embarrassed to admit that I have been known to check out simple books on the library on aerodynamics and weather, for example, for the general public and then go back and learn how these things relate to being a pilot.

I swear I STILL look things up on Wikipedia to help me understand things in broad, general terms first before I tackle the technical stuff. I just learned the Citation X, my first airplane with slats, and don't you know I didn't even know what the dern things were!
But I found out:

Slats are aerodynamic surfaces on the leading edge of the wings of fixed-wing aircraft which, when deployed, allow the wing to operate at a higher angle of attack. A higher coefficient of lift is produced as a product of angle of attack and speed, so by deploying slats an aircraft can fly slower or take off and land in a shorter distance. They are usually used while landing or performing maneuvers which take the aircraft close to the stall, but are usually retracted in normal flight to minimize drag.
Much better than just "guessing," right?

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Checkride is over...

Yes, I passed! Unfortunately, I needed two sessions... I want to be able to talk to all of you about the checkride and some issues with it so that everyone can learn from my experience. However, we still have TWO more days in the sim, and I am worn out from the drama surrounding the experience and I want to ensure that I appear fair and balanced. Keep an eye out for the upcoming newsletter and successive message board posts. Sign up for the newsletter.

Monday, May 19, 2008

It's not all bad news

I hear often that people are not getting into aviation (aeronautics or aerospace) because of poor job prospects. Luckily, this viewpoint is not being ignored. First, AOPA is always encourage pilots into their "Project Pilot" program. And initiatives after that?

For example:
Legislation to Attract More Engineers into Aerospace Moves Forward
OKLAHOMA CITY – Two pieces of legislation geared toward growing Oklahoma’s aerospace industry have cleared one more hurdle in the House and Senate.

House Bill 3239 by Skye (yes, Skye) McNiel in the House and Kenneth Corn in the Senate easily won approval on the Senate floor Thursday morning by a 42-3 vote. HB 3239, which has often been referred to as the "Aerospace Industry Engineer Work Force Bill," grants engineers hired after Jan. 1, 2009, by an Oklahoma aerospace company a state tax credit of up to $5,000 per year for a period of time not to exceed five years. It also allows aerospace companies a tax credit of 10 percent for compensation paid to a qualified graduate during the first five years of his or her employment if the employee graduated from an in-state college or university or a tax credit of 5 percent if the employee graduated from an out-of-state college or university.

HB 3239 also affords Oklahoma aerospace companies an opportunity to receive a tax credit in the amount of 50 percent of the tuition reimbursed to a new engineer graduate for the first four years of his or her employment. The tax credit would be based upon the average annual tuition at a public university in Oklahoma, which is currently about $3,600.

“The fact that an overwhelming majority of lawmakers in both houses support House Bill 3239 shows just how vital our state’s aerospace industry is to the state and its economic prosperity. They understand that,” said Victor Bird (yes, Bird), director of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

Senate Bill 1171 by Sen. Mike Mazzei and Rep. Mike Jackson provides a $5,000 tax credit for up to five years to new engineers who earn an undergraduate or graduate degree after December 31, 2008,and go to work for an Oklahoma aerospace company. There are no tax credits for the hiring company,however. SB 1171 now moves on to the House floor for further consideration.

Bird said that the U.S. aerospace industry is currently facing a substantial shortage of engineers and the situation will get much worse in the next few years when an estimated 60,000 to 68,000 engineers retire. In Oklahoma alone, an additional 600 to 650 engineers will be needed by the year 2013. “If we expect to keep our aerospace industry growing and competitive with other states and countries, then we must provide incentives to attract more engineers to the industry. If we don’t, the industry will suffer down the road, and I don’t think we can let that happen,” Bird said.

Bird noted that other states around the country have already passed legislation this year that has benefited their respective aerospace industries. He pointed to Kansas, Georgia and Washington as examples. Just last week, Kansas lawmakers passed a bill that allows Cessna Aircraft Company to access up to $33 million in bonds to build an assembly plant in Wichita for its new Citation Columbus aircraft. The facility is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

The median salary of an engineer in the aerospace industry is approximately $75,000. Oklahoma is recognized as one of seven centers in the world for the modification, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Checkride around the corner

Hi All,

I'm still plugging away at my Citation X training! Checkride day is tuesday....

Pictured at left is my training partner, Chuck, and I. Chuck is a ex Air Force C17 pilot and we are paired up throughout the training and checkride. We have two sim sessions each day, so someone sits left seat for two hours and then we swap.

Interestingly enough, it's the right seater that works harder here. The person in the left seat "only" has to fly, while the co-pilot runs all the checklists, increased by the sim instructor's introduction of various malfunctions and emergencies. The co-pilot is also talking on the radio and programming the avionics. Things can get pretty busy!

The left seater is the Pilot in Command (PIC) though, so he or she is ultimately responsible for what does or does not happen on their flight. So, although the PIC can delegate tasks to the Second in Command (SIC), the PIC still needs to monitor everything going on in the cockpit.

Usually, especially at the experience level of Chuck and I, this is not a problem. But add into the mix an unfamiliar aircraft with different controls and associated "feel," this four hour session is EXHAUSTING. In fact, the checkride should be the easiest session because it is so straightforward. Unfortunately, most pilots are very self critical and exacting, so we want everything to be "perfect."
Our sim instructor assures us we are progressing normally, but yesterday we both felt as if we didn't do very well at all. So we took the evening off and didn't think about flying at all.

Sound strange? I have learned that it is difficult to "study through" the low points. I KNOW how to fly the airplane, so I just took a break to de-stress a little bit. We'll see how it goes today, as I am off to my sim session right now...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Girls With Wings really Flies!

Girl With Wings Jill Long features the GWW logo on her Pitts airplane.

A Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Jill “Raggz” Long has been flying since she was 16. Her dream of flight can be traced to an airshow she attended at the age of six, where after seeing the performers, she proudly declared, “That’s going to be me!”

The only woman to be selected to cross-train into the A-10 “Warthog” or “Tank Killer” after six years in the KC-135 Stratotanker, she has accumulated over 3000 military flight hours and 50 combat missions in the Global War on Terrorism. Born in Michigan and raised in Oregon, Jill lives with husband, Chuck, in Wichita Falls, TX, and is stationed at Sheppard AFB as the 80th Flying Training Wing Director of Staff and a T6 Texan II instructor/evaluator pilot charged with training future combat pilots at Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT), as well as pursuing her personal dream of flight by performing in airshows in her Pitts S2B “The Ragged Edge,” inspiring millions each year, and encouraging young and old alike to follow their dreams!

Jill avidly shares her experiences as a military combat fighter pilot, instructor/evaluator pilot and airshow performer. Equipped with Finance, Business Administration & Marketing Bachelor’s degrees, and a Master’s in Management, she is living proof that no matter what path a person takes… with vision, passion and commitment they can SOAR! She and her husband Chuck partnered their airshow business with inspirational/educational programs including US Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp and Aviation Challenge, and the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Women Soar and Young Eagles. Jill was the recent winner of the Air Education and Training Command’s 2008 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Role Model Award.

She often states, "You don’t have to be the smartest person, or the most talented… you just have to believe in yourself, and you’ll find the strength to follow your dreams. Programs such as EAA’s and US Space and Rocket Center’s help young women and men find that strength and develop key lessons for life! We need to emphasize avenues that reach out to and encourage people to aim for the stars and follow their own dreams."

View Jill’s website and airshow schedule at and follow YOUR dreams!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Scholarship Information

Earlier I published a blog entry about several scholarships that I had seen that were available to folks interested in aviation. I received a comment to that post that I chose not to publish: "hi,linda,how can i get scholarship to study piloting/aeronautacal engineering,am a male in [a foreign country],pls lets chat on ymsger" The message also included this person's email address and personal blog, which I won't print to protect his privacy.

It's great that so many people want to get into flying; that's what Girls With Wing is all about, right? But recently I updated my scholarship page on the GWW website to reflect the frustration I have with messages being sent to me that say little more than the above comment. 'Course, misspelling my name earns 0 points!

This is not because I think I'm special and deserve special treatment. This is a basic fact of life. Ever hear the saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression?"

There are a lot of my opinions on my scholarship page that I had some reluctance posting because I don't want to turn anyone away from the organization. However, after numerous times of people firing off short impolite emails, I couldn't resist. If you are an individual looking for financial aid or guidance, Please, please, please! take any and all communications seriously. In other words, be polite and use proper grammar and spelling (especially the name of the organization!). Tell the recipient a little bit about you and what specifically you are seeking. I am a pretty busy woman (if you read this blog you'll know this) and do not have time to find money for everyone. You can do a google search on aviation scholarships just as well as I can.

When you find something you are interested in/may qualify for, read the information carefully and then if you have further questions, contact the organization. The vast majority of emails to me miss the two MAJOR characteristics of the GWW scholarship: it is announced in August, and there is no official application form. When I get an email asking about either of these, I know the sender is not really interested in the GWW scholarship, they are just firing off emails. That's fine if you make a base template and personalize it to the specific organization - keeping in mind all of the requirements of that application.

Be considerate and conscientious. Aviation is a small community, where "who you know" plays a major role. You need to make good impressions on people and maintain thos relationships.

Read more of my advice at

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Send Your Name to the Moon Aboard LRO!

The Send Your Name to the Moon Web site enables everyone to participate in the lunar adventure and place their names in orbit around the moon for years to come. Participants can submit their information, print a certificate and have their name entered into a database. The database will be placed on a microchip that will be integrated onto the spacecraft. The deadline for submitting names is June 27, 2008.

"Everyone who sends their name to the moon, like I'm doing, becomes part of the next wave of lunar explorers," said Cathy Peddie, deputy project manager for LRO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The LRO mission is the first step in NASA's plans to return humans to the moon by 2020, and your name can reach there first. How cool is that?"

The orbiter, comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstration, will provide the most comprehensive data set ever returned from the moon. The mission will focus on the selection of safe landing sites and identification of lunar resources. It also will study how the lunar radiation environment could affect humans.

Credit: NASA/GSFC LRO will also create a comprehensive atlas of the moon's features and resources that will be needed as NASA designs and builds a planned lunar outpost. The mission will support future human exploration while providing a foundation for upcoming science missions. LRO is scheduled for launch in late 2008.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is being built at Goddard. The mission also will be managed at the center for NASA's Explorations Systems Mission Directorate in Washington.

Send Your Name to the Moon is a collaborative effort among NASA, the Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif., and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

Friday, May 09, 2008

AOPAs ePilot Training Tips

If you are an aviation enthusiast but not yet a member of AOPA, the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association, here's another reason to consider it (besides the fact that membership is only $39/yr).

AOPA puts out a Pilot Training Tips email that often includes aviation scholarships and training opportunities. Today's had three that I found of interest:

When you're passionate about something, you want to share that passion with the world. For many pilots that means telling friends about aviation or taking them for rides. But for Darren Large, it means something bigger. Large started an Aviation Explorer post at Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey where he serves as the projects and grants administrator. The program helps young people ages 15 to 20 who are interested in aviation explore career options and develop an understanding of the field through firsthand experiences. See the complete story on AOPA Online.

A pastor in Waukesha, Wis., is using aviation as a tool to reach out to at-risk teens in his congregation and community. Pastor Jerome Spencer of the New Beginnings Ministry has recruited Milwaukee-area pilots as mentors, obtained a grant to cover some equipment and supplies, and worked a second job to get the program aloft, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Participating students take ground school in a donated hangar at Waukesha County Airport and work toward completing the private pilot knowledge test. Three participants have passed the test. "What has made this program work is the care and love of the Waukesha community coming alongside and saying 'I'll help,'" Spencer said.

The University of Oklahoma's Sooner Flight Academy will sponsor several aviation camps for children ages 4 through 18. The camps will kick off in June, and sessions will run through August. The programs promote aviation and teach practical application of math and science. Some camps include flight time. All activities take place at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. For more information or to apply online, see the Web site.

Register at

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Looking for something to do this summer?

The Summer Academy

Embry-Riddle's Summer Academy programs are residential programs at the Daytona Beach campus that introduce the technology of today to the aviators and astronauts of tomorrow. Students live in on-campus dormitories under the supervision of approved chaperones and share their initial experience of university living with other young people their age.

Summer Academy Programs

Aerospace I (ages 15-18) This course is designed to foster a basic understanding of space and space technology. The program is filled with hands-on activities and labs, classroom interaction, and exciting, fun-filled trips!

Aerospace II (ages 16 - 18) Prerequisite: Aerospace I For students ages 16 - 18, this course further encourages the interest of space-related fields, the space program, and the aerospace industry worldwide.

Flight Exploration (ages 12 up) Developed for students ages 12 to 18, Flight Exploration is a structured introduction to flying and flight training. Choose from one of our sessions offered from June 13 through July 30.
Aviation Voyage (ages 13 - 18) Prerequisite: Flight Exploration - Residential, for students ages 13 - 18. This program was devoloped for students who want to continue their flight training and work towards their first solo flight in the aircraft.Sun Flight (ages 15 up)Sun Flight offers three programs: first solo flights; private pilot license or custom flight training.
Aviation Career Exploration Participants will learn about the varied career fields involved with aviation and aerospace: Air Traffic Control, Meteorology, Engineering, Human Factors, Space technology, and Flight.

Generations Generations is an opportunity for parents and grandparents to experience aviation with their child or grandchild. Together, the two of you will share the experience of exploring the different realms of aviation.

Aviation Discovery for Women For female students ages 15-18, this program offers the opportunity to explore an interest in aviation and aerospace. Participants will learn more about fields such as Flight, Meteorology, Maintenance, Engineering and many more.

Friday, May 02, 2008


In the interest of continuing my mission of getting the word out that there are many many scholarships out there, I give you:

Daniel Heligoin and Montaine Mallet together formed French Connection Airshow for over 26 years. Their 180 hp Cap 10Bs were stock other than the smoke system. Montaine was a former aeronautical engineer who studied aerobatics with Daniel, who was originally a glider pilot, French Air Force fighter pilot and French Unlimited Aerobatic Champion. The couple met while working at Avions Mudry, makers of the Cap airplane, and the pair were the American distributors for the aircraft. In their air show performances, Mallet led routines and Heligoin followed just four feet from her wingtip. The French Connection is recognized for flawless mirror formations, the Fleur de Lys and their signature musical aerial ballet. Following their deaths during a practice session in May of 2000, family members, friends and fans worked together to create a memorial fund that could be used to give, as Daniel would say, "the gift of wings."

Besides being premier airshow performers, the French Connection operated an aerobatic flight school from the time they first arrived in the United States. They demanded the same precision and perfection in their aerobatic flight instructors as they demanded in themselves. They spent considerable time training their flight instructors the art of teaching aerobatics. They both felt that only if their flight instructors were highly skilled in aerobatics and communication could they pass on, not only basic aerobatics, but the more advanced levels as well.

The French Connection Memorial Scholarship is seeking a male and a female flight instructor who need financial help acquiring aerobatic training so he or she can do a better job teaching or to seek a position giving aerobatic instruction. Together, the French Connection Scholarship Committee and the recipient will select the aerobatic flight school or instructor, to ensure the level of instruction received will reflect the high standards Daniel and Montaine strived for.
Visit Fred Robbins' French Connection Memorial web pages

Qualifications: The recipient must be a certified flight instructor (CFI), and must use the scholarship for aerobatic flight training. Scholarship Amount: $1,000.
Download the application form(right-click link and select "Save Target" from the popup menu)French Connection Application
Follow the submission instructions on the application form carefully.Return completed applications
Applications received by July 1st are considered for this year's award

If you know of any scholarships, please post them on the Girls With Wings Message Board.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The May Girls With Wings eZine

The May eZine is here! For easier viewing.

The video taken at this year's Women in Aviation Conference has made it on to the site. Thanks to all of the enthusiastic attendees that stated their love for aviation on the record (or DVD, as it were). Thank you to GWW Kim for filming and editing. You, too, can submit a video of yourself to add to your bio, just email it to me. (Kim has a video of her solo on her bio...!)

My home state of Ohio may have designated May 7th as a day to recognize the importance of aerospace, but for Girls With Wings, every day is a day to increase awareness of aviation, aeronautics and aerospace! Aerospace: the science, technology and industry associated with aircraft, missiles, satellites and spacecraft.

For those of you that read my blog you know I will be celebrating this particular day (and the rest of May) by completing my Citation X training with my new employer, NetJets. If you haven't been hearing from me so much lately, it's because I've been studying. Read some tips on how to study a new airplane. The reality of a pilot's quest for continuous personal and professional improvement (or to fly new airplanes) is a topic I always bring up in my presentations to young girls. Life as a pilot is rarely boring! And it's those especially "exciting" times we train so hard for.

Congratulations are in order for GWW Becky , who just received news that she is the recipient of the Chris Hanley Memorial Scholarship for $1500 worth of flight training so can continue her progress towards her private license. Kudos also on that successful cross-country! Tell us if you hear of any scholarships.

New Item
Plane Pillows - we know you love airplanes, now you can snuggle with them!

Play the GWW game (!
Install the GWW Screensaver (!

Coming Soon
Families With Wings, or "How to be a great wife, mother, and woman as well as a successful pilot." Email with your input.