"Her brother and I have a Dad/Son bond with flying, and she seems to think she can't do it because she is a girl. I am signing her up (Flight Crew Membership) to show her that girls can fly and have fun too... that it's not just a boy pastime. This club will be her first chance of something special she can be a part of that her brother cannot, and I hope she will be more active as she gets older."
Madeleine has become an instant celebrity around here at GWW HQ, as has another young lady named Erika, shown at right when still just a baby, about 15 years ago. Madeleine's had dad asked Erika's dad (on Twitter) how he kept his daughter interested in flying. Egg's dad sent these pictures of Erika's development (Egg is Erika's call sign - shown on Dad's airplane at left).
So first, let me get the interesting story of Egg's call sign out of the way, because it's a good one. Dad wrote:
Erika received the nickname 'Egg' in the sixth grade when some of the kids in her class noticed that her initials, E. G., looked almost like the word 'egg.' That was right around the time that I was planning on selling our Tampico in favor of the RV-6. Egg had always enjoyed the Tampico, and I had even created an Instant Messenger name for her:Tampico Copilot. She was very upset (she cried!) that I wanted to sell the Tampico because we had done a lot of flying in it together. She used to like to do steep banks and those low-G rollercoaster pushovers - she referred to them as 'Wagstaffs' in honor of Patty Wagstaff.
I had my heart set on the RV-6, though, so I had to find a way to get her excited about the change and dry up those tears that are so devastating to a father. I ended up using Photoshop to put her name on the side of the canopy and promised her that I would do it for real when we got the RV.She thought a Top Gun style call sign would be even cooler, so that is why the passenger side canopy of the RV says 'Co-Pilot: Erika "Egg" Gamble.'
You can read all of Erika's Tips and Tricks on her Girls With Wings page, but she offered this specific advice to Madeleine's Dad: "Egg says Madeleine will be a lot more comfortable if she has
headsets so she can hear Dad better, gum to help pop her ears, and to bring a comfort toy with her if she is nervous."
Both Madeleine and Egg have been reached out to by other Girls With Wings. As a result of Erika's mention in the April eZine, she received this email from GWW Jean, an MCFI.
"Thank you for sharing your story. As an instructor, I can tell you that you are well on your way to earning a pilot's license. You are a good candidate to solo at 16 and have a license at 17. If I were close enough to you, it would be a joy to be your instructor. Keep studying and flying with Dad. You are a fortunate teen and I am sure that your Dad is very proud of you."
It is continuously amazing to me how much potential is there in our youth and how many adults are willing to encourage them. Thank you for your support of Girls With Wings. The organization, of course, and the actual girls!