Military Aviator and Airshow Pilot

A gypsy, as most military and airshow pilot are... I've called several places
home from Sault Ste. Marie, MI, to Wichita Falls, TX, to Osan AB in South
Korea.  Currently my husband, Chuck (who’s also a pilot), and I are hanging
our chocks in Italy.

Flying has always been my passion, I can remember as a four (or so) year
old climbing up into a tree one evening when the stars were coming out.  
When my mum asked me, “What on earth are you doing?” I replied as I
pointed to the stars, “Trying to get up there.”  We’ll I’ve made it!  Slipping
the surly bonds of earth every chance I get.

Lessons you learn in becoming a pilot are not much different from those
that make you successful in life…  The first one is, “Never take ‘No’ for an
answer.”  Usually people say no based on their own limited vision, not on
your potential.  I’d much rather have some one tell me, “not yet… but here’s
where you need to go to get there.”  The next one is, “Have a passion and a
dream, and don’t lose sight of them!”  Too many get sidetracked along the
way.  If you have dreams, don’t forget to follow them when the opportunity
presents itself, whether it be at age 15 or 55.

I learned to fly in a Taylorcraft at Evergreen Field in Vancouver, WA (aka
Wally Port to those of us who called it home).  My flight instructor was Ralph
Riddell, and he is still teaching me today, not only in the airshow business
but life in general.

As an airshow pilot my job is to make flying look fun and exciting while
making sure everyone knows that if they only dare to dream they too can
SOAR!  My Air Force job isn’t much different, as an Instructor Pilot, I am
responsible for taking brand new Lieutenants and make them the best dang
pilot possible.  After all, our nation is at war, and the pilots I train today
must be ready for combat tomorrow… an awesome responsibility that must
be taken seriously.

When asked the best part of my job I have to say the possibilities.  
Everything is possible and every time you get airborne it’s living the dream.

I’ve had some interesting experiences when people see me in my flight suit.  
One lady asked me if I was going to a costume party.  When I replied it was
a uniform she blushed and said, “I’m so sorry when my husband was in the
Air Force they didn’t have girl pilots”.  I smiled and thought to myself,
“Those were the good ole days… NOT!”  I’ve also had young girls (yes,
shock and horror) tell me they didn’t know girls could fly!  Oy Vey!  But yes,
anyone… girl or boy, can do it if they can dream it.

The biggest things you can do to help yourself on the path to becoming a
pilot; study hard, stay fit and most of all…DREAM BIG!

Be sure to come say hi to me at my website:  See you
in the skies!
Jill at Space Camp! See
Press Release here.
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
Read the first issue of
Airborne Chronicles,
Raggz's experience at the
Army's Airborne school.