Airline Pilot and Author

Hi. My name is Linda. I don’t have a husband or children, but I do have six
nieces and nephews whom I love very much. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada, near
a beautiful canyon called Red Rock. I am based here as a pilot flying the MD-
80 for a travel company. I fly to small and large towns throughout the
western United States and as far east as Illinois, bringing visitors to Las
Vegas for their vacations and business trips. The MD-80 is a 150-seat jet.
This airplane is not a fancy, new-fangled jet, but rather an old, brooding,
spinster of twenty years. She is quite fast, somewhat maneuverable and
luckily, easy to slow down and get configured to land. I have flown the MD-
80 for one year.

Before this job, I flew a Dash-8 turboprop in the Rocky Mountains. As a
captain, based in Denver, Colorado, I flew passengers to various mountain
destinations to go skiing and fishing and hiking. Flying the Dash, I exper-
ienced every kind of weather phenomenon: snowstorms,thunder-storms,
incessant gusty winds, low visibility, and nearby microbursts. In a jet, I often
fly above the weather, but in my previous job, I flew through it. Turboprop
airplanes can’t fly as high as jets in the sky, so they fly through the clouds a
lot more. I flew the Dash for almost five years before getting this new job.

I have a cousin who flies airplanes for pleasure. He owns an aerobatic plane
that he can do all kinds of tricks in: loops and rolls. And my great grand-
father was a barn stormer in Washington. He used to fly from town to town,
giving people rides in his Curtiss Jenny.

I never dreamed of being a professional pilot. I grew up wanting to be a
writer and a musician. I graduated college with a journalism degree and I’ve
written for many different newspapers and magazines. Flying is actually my
second career. I also play piano for fun. One day, I wrote a story about a
young flight instructor in the Bay Area who took me for a flight over the
Golden Gate Bridge. I’ll never forget that day. Several years later, when I
could afford it, I took flight lessons. My first instructor was a woman and she
encouraged me to pursue it as a career. She believed there weren’t enough
women flying professionally. I agree.

In airports and on the airplane, I am often misidentified as a flight attendant
but I worked as a flight attendant for almost three years, so it doesn’t
bother me at all. I believe flight attendants have the hardest job on board,
especially when there are delays. In fact, I have completed my first in a three-
part series of novels about a flight attendant who wants to become a pro-
fessional pilot. It tells the story of how she pursued her goal and the various
adventures and people that she met along the way.

I believe that any girl can fly the biggest or smallest airplane on earth. It
requires commitment and good study habits. Every girl should get a college
degree. It’s most important to find something to be passionate about
because then the commitment is easy. There will be people along the way
trying to discourage you from your dreams. Don’t listen to them. Follow your
own heart and make it happen. If aviation is your passion, enjoy the journey
because that is what it’s about. Also, surround yourself with positive people
who have already achieved the goals you are trying to reach. They will help
you get where you want to go.
Using aviation to entertain
and educate girls about
their limitless
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