Her parents gave her this name 30 years ago with idea of inspiration for her future. Amelia Rose Earhart is now 30 years old and lives in Denver Colorado, United States of America. She is an anchor woman at channel 9 and an aviator… We had an interview with Amelia who took flight training with the inspiration by her name and wants to cross over the world-a project that unfortunately could not be completed by her namesake. We spoke with Amelia about this project, herself and her new foundation that enables many young women pilot to have flight training with scholarship
Welcome Amelia, thank you very much this interview. First of all, I would like to ask about your name. You and pioneer Amelia have the same surname; is this a coinsidence?
Thank you for asking! While my family and the first Amelia Earhart’s family are not related, we do share the same last name. Both our families lived in nearby counties in Pennsylvania, USA, but they were not conencted by blood. My parents gave me this name to link me to a historic role model, to inspire me to live a great life and to give me a name that no one would ever forget.
As far as I know you haven’t graduated from any aviation program in college. Your job is not directly connected with aviation. How did you decide to be a pilot? Are there any pilots or aviators in your family?
I did not study avation in college, in fact, I studied English Literature because I love to read and write. I began working in radio and television here in Denver, Colorado and eventually landed a job as an aerial helicotper reporter for Newsradio 850 KOA and KUSA-TV. I was flying twice a day in a Eurocipter A-Star B-3 helicopter for about 4 hours a day. It was the most amazing job I could have hoped for.
There are no other pilots in my family, but my parents always supported the idea of me becomming a pilot. I had to save up to pay for flight school and that took a long time, but once I took my first discovery flight, I was hooked! I loved flight from the first moment I was in the sky.
How did your family and friends react to this decision?
I am a bit of a daredevil, so I am sure no one was surpirsed when I decided to become a pilot. My family loves how happy I am when I am in the sky, and my friends all support me flying as much as possible. I am proud to say that a few of my friends have become pilots after seeing how aviation has changed my life.
Generally, there is a belief in aviation; “ flying is not cut for women ” . We can get this idea when we looking the pioneer Amelia’s story. Have you had similar experiences?
I am glad that we are finally getting away from the idea that women are not bulit to pilot aircraft. It is still incredibly rare to see a woman in the captain seat on a commercial flight, but luckilly we are seeing more and more interest from young women. I speak to thousands of people every year about the joys of aviation and i always seem to find that the reason that there are not a lot of women at the airport is becuase they were never invited to check it out. It wasn’t an option like becoming a mother, a nurse, a teacher or more traditional roles. I am trying to lead by example and Show that flying is not a dangerous profession and it can lead to an incredibly fulfilling life, whether as a hobby or a Professional career.
When we look at the world, in general women are still behind men. Why do you think there has not been an equality, since Pioneer Amelia?
It takes a long time for mindsets to change, especially in the career World. Most of us pick our paths at an early age and rarely deviate. I am tryingt to Show women at an early age that flight is an option. Back in the 1930’s, Amelia Earhart broke the mold, setting a good example for what we, as women, are able to become. It is now up to us, the aviation lovers of the World, to lead by example, showing everyone, men and women that flight can be a thrilling adventure, one that will Show you new horizons, opening the World to you.
When did you decide to make this project real?
I decided to make The Amelia Project real about a year ago. I was at my kitchen table, thinking about what it would take to accomplish this goal, and I took out a big sheet of paper and just started writing notes. From the route, to the funding, to the training, the survival gear, it was a huge task, but one that I knew in my heart that I had to complete. This flight is what I was born to do. İ want to symbollically complete the flight that Amelia never got to finish. I want to close Amelia’s flight plan.
What kind of preparations have you made for this project so far?
Aircraft training, route planning, sponsorship, promotion and story telling, we are even installing additional fuel on the Pilatus PC12NG to complete this flight. The list goes on and on. There is no guide book for flying around the World in a single engine aircraft, so much of this research and planning is developing as we go. It is interesting to take on a Project that does not have a checklist of what to do. I even had to go to open water survival training to learn how to deal with ditching an aircraft in the ocean.
So let’s talk about sponsors. Have you had any difficulties, what have you been through about sponsors selection?
I have been so lucky to have the support of many amazing aviation sponsors, including Pilatus Aircraft, Honeywell Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Dallas Airmotive, Signature Flight Support, Jeppesen, and many others. I have approached companies that support the growth and advancement of aviation. Each sponsor believes that this flight will promote aviation in the best way possible, through a real life advenure of worldwide proportions.
You are flying with Pilatus which is PC-12NG. How did you choose this plane? Did you have any special criterias?
The PC-12NG is the most reliable, technologically advanced aircraft for this mission. I wanted to fly a single engine turboprop around the World and this aircraft couldn’t be better suited for the mission. The Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine is the most relaiable engine in the World, and I couldn’t be more proud to pilot this plane. Not only is it safe, it is also comfortable and incredibly beautiful. It represents classic aviaiton.
Does it scare you to fly trans oceanic with single engined plane? What kind of preperations on this issue?
No. The PT6 engine is the reason I am not fearful of my oceanic crossings. In the event of any malfunction, we will carry submersion suits, a life raft and survival gear on board. I have performed open water survival training and have worked in a dunker to train on how to exit the aircraft if it is underwater.
It will be a long and tiring flight. You will spend hours in small cockpit. Do you have any pysical and mental exercise programs? Do you follow a special diet any exercise program?
You are right, this will be a lot of flying in a short amount of days. There are several ways that I am planning and preparing for this flight. I meditate on a Daily basis, which helps me maintain focus and perspective on the flight. I begin each day with a meditation session that allows me to open my mind for the full amount of learning, training, and prepration for the flight. I do yoga, several times weekly, which keeps me limber and comfortable in the cockpit. I try and eat a mostly vegetarian diet, which keeps my mind sharp. I am now working with a nutritionist to decide on my diet fort he trip. 17 days of flight in a row means I will want to build an energy sustaining meal plan that will keep my mind sharp and my body in balance.
Let’ s talk about your foundation. I’m really excited about this project and foundation because I believe the foundation will enable women pilot candidates to have healthy and efficent flight training. How did you decide to establish this foundation? Could you please tell us about your foundation?
The Fly With Amelia Foundation has been a dream of mine for years, but before 2013, I never really knew how amazing planning and organizing this kind of operation would be. The foundation provides scholarships to young women, aged 16 to 18 and I am construction STEM (science, technology, engeneering and math) curriculum and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. I also mentor the young women that get involved, helping them with college applications, resumés, and planning for leading an adventerous, successful life. It is incredibly rewarding and just last week, our first scholarship recipient, Destiny Krell, got into her Dream College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautucal University! She will begin classes in the Fall.
What kind of selection process do you have for scholar candidates? Do you feel a tendency towrads any groups; will there be positive discrimination? For instance a pilot candidate from a third world country?
While the Foundation is US based right now, I would eventually like to make it possible to provide young women with opportunites all over the World. Flying is an international passion and there are no bounds to the amazing opportunities that it can provide. Isn’t that what flying is all about? Using runways to connect the World? It makes me so incredibly happy to imagine what that could be like.
Have you ever been in Turkey? Is Turkey in your flight program?
I have never been to Turkey but I have always wanted to visit the Turquoise Coast! When the foundation begins to operate internationally, I see no reason why Turkey couldn’t be included.
Being a woman pilot who has dedicated herself to flying, foundation and women pilot trainings and you job on tv; how does it effect your personal life?
Being a pilot has allowed to me grow into a confident, focused, adventerous woman. It adds to my life in so many ways, creating conversation that is out of the ordinary for so many people. Most people I meet are shocked to hear that I am a pilot, becuase you don’t see a lot of women at the airport. Being a television personality, I feel that flying allows me to add my own unique perspective to the interviews I conduct. When you have had your own adventures, you can ask insightful questions to those who have also dared to go outside of their comfort zones to achieve great things. Without flight, my life would be vastly different... I am sure I would be happy, but this is what I was born to do.
There are many women pilot candidates among my readers. What would you like the to tell them?
I would like to tell these women to live their lives every single day, as if this day will be the one they are remembered for. Often, we use excuses of obligation, fatigue, the illusion of being “too busy” to pursue the things that we love. We are here to make our mark, and a life of flying can allow you to do just that. As women, we carry a lot of power... when we break the mold, people tend to pay attention! We must use that to our advantage. The biggest piece of advice I have is to ask questions and always ask for help. If you are interested in learning about a certain type of plane, ask someone who has a connection to one to go check it out... if you can’t get close to the aircraft, get online and do the research yourself. The amount of effort that we put into our lives is directly proportional to the amount of success we will see. If the first try doesn’t work out, find another route and try again.
Adventure is out there. So few are ready and willing to step up to the plate and seize it. That already puts the rest of us at an advantage. If adventure is in your heart, squeeze every last drop out of it and spend your life leaning in to the amazing and beautiful parts of this World. The sky is wide open for your own personal adventure.
Last but not the least, what are your next projects for the future?
After the World flight, I plan on pursuing avation in many different forms. I would love to fly jets, restore a vintage aircraft and perhaps complete another circumnaviation of the globe, on a different and unique route. My biggest goals will be promoting women in aviation. I want to develop unique and engaging ways of getting women inerested in all forms of flight, showing them that runways connect the World and provide an excellent career path.
You can follow Amelia and her projects:
Website : www.flywithamelia.org
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Amelia__Earhart
Instagram : http://instagram.com/ameliaroseearht
For questions & opinion;
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