Females in Aviation, Past & Present

Retired corporate pilot, Karen Hawkins, interviews women from various aspects of aviation, be it private pilots, flight instructors, corporate pilots, airline pilots, astronauts, stunt pilots, military pilots, WASPS, air racers, bush pilots, helicopter pilots, crop dusters, air-traffic controllers, mechanics, dispatchers, aeronautical engineers and any other aviation professionals that come under the radar. Hear about the obstacle and successes of various women. Learn how they balance career with family, manage flying while pregnant or nursing, overcome gender/racial bias. Watch for news about female aviator groups, flying scholarships and tips for fun flying adventures!
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Females in Aviation, Past & Present



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Sep 22, 2016

This discussion includes the views of three airline pilots/cofounders of the Sisters of the Skies a.k.a. Black Butterflies Facebook page: Stephanie Mitchell-Smith Gulley, Kim McCommon & Tomica Adams.  Most members of this group are also affiliated with the OBAP-Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals; Tuskegee Airmen International; and the Bessie Coleman Aerospace Legacy. The group was established to give female aviators of color--including African Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, Indian, etc.--a place to share accomplishments, vent frustrations and generally unite those who make up a very small slice of the pilot demographic pie.  While they reach back to honor those who helped to pave the way for them, so do they strive to pay-it-forward by offering encouragement to those who follow.

Sep 7, 2016

As a foster child, Melany Rosales had little hope of finding wherewithal  for a higher education. A high-school aviation program and one dedicated mentor changed all of that for her. And Melany didn't forget it. As co-founder of Beacon For Teens ( in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Melany now pays it forward by exposing low-income, at-risk foster children to the world of aviation. When funding for the organization was tight, Melany partnered with Daniel Valladares' Aviation Life Clothing ( and helped grow it into a funding vehicle for Beacon For Teens.

Aug 22, 2016

This is a celebration and review of the show's first 24 episodes. Brief excerpts from each show will help you to remember--or hear for the first time--a sampling of the episode's content.  If any pique your interest, you can find the complete episodes at  They are also available as free downloads from iTunes at: 

Thanks to all my loyal listeners for the more than 4200 downloads. I am looking forward to serving the cause of women in aviation in the coming year and welcome suggestions for podcast interviews!

Jun 25, 2016

Erika Armstrong, author of "A Chick in the Cockpit", shares her experiences as an airline pilot and, perhaps more importantly, how she was forced to draw on the strengths developed in that career to manage the unexpected turbulence in her personal life.

May 27, 2016

Moriah Graham shares the story of her journey to becoming the first African-American Air-Force JROTC cadet to earn a private pilot's license in the state of Delaware. That she persevered through adversity where other's might have quit, serves as an inspiration to young people everywhere. Every young girl who has visions of airplanes dancing in her head will be motivated by Moriah's determination.

Apr 15, 2016

Around the same time Emily Howell was working her way into becoming the first female airline pilot in the U.S., Tag Akesheh was breaking similar barriers in Jordan. Her trials and tribulations would have made quitters of many...but Tag endured. Listen to her inspiring story of fortitude and learn from her advice.

Mar 6, 2016

If you dream of flying, but struggle with the high cost of traditional aviation, tune in to hear how you can become part of an amazing community of aviators and experience, perhaps, the most exhilarating flying ever!

Feb 14, 2016

iWOAW has a concise mission statement...achieve Gender Balance in aviation. Listen in to hear Mireille Goyer explain her unique plan. If you are already a pilot, learn how you--or your organization--can help and how, in doing so, you will be eligible to win amazing prizes like Apple Watches or i-Pad Minis.  And, the lady (young or old)  you help in the process will be eligible these prizes as well as a chance at one of three flight-training scholarships.

If you are a female who would like to experience flight--whether just a single airplane flight or continuing flying lessons--this is a podcast you won't want to miss. You just might get that airplane flight and win one of those great incentive prizes too!

Feb 6, 2016

Though you may not be aware of it, UNMANNED FLIGHTS have been occurring regularly for a number of years. Without even knowing it, you may actually have been a passenger on such a flight. In this episode your host, Karen Hawkins, conducts interviews with thirteen aviation professionals--some named and some who chose to remain anonymous--who witnessed such events!  (Thanks to "Stars in the Sky" author, Casey Grant, for her help with this podcast.)

Jan 5, 2016

Casey Grant, who served 35 years with Delta Airlines, was among the first of the African-American flight attendants.  In this interview, she shares a sampling of the trials and tribulations that were endured, the trails that were blazed and the bridges that were built. She also tells us how to obtain her book "Stars in the Sky" to get the full story about these amazing flight attendants as well as other African American/Black "firsts" in aviation.

Dec 19, 2015

ISWAP, an organization for Part-121 women airline pilots, welcomes new members to join in the camaraderie of their group with a conference that convenes annually. Meeting destinations alternate between a U.S. location and an international location.

In addition to fun activities and professional sharing, the group uses this event as a fundraiser for their amazing scholarship fund.

If you are an aspiring airline pilot, tune into this podcast for information on how to apply for type-rating and multi-engine-instructor scholarships. 

Nov 22, 2015

Debbie Travis King shares the events that led her to become the first woman to fly B29s since the two WASPs who flew them during WWII.  Hear the amusing story of how and why Brigadier General Paul Tibbets came to select two women--Didi Moorman and Dora Dougherty--to fly the B29.  Its a story you won't want to miss!

Additionally, Debbie offers anecdotes and inspiration for ladies working on an aviation well as an overview of how the COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE honors our military veterans.

Nov 12, 2015

Is flight instructing a viable career option...or merely a stepping stone to other pilot positions? What might be done to generate more respect--and income--for the professional flight instructor. Lara Gaerte, instructor at Century Aviation at DeKalb County Airport in Auburn Indiana, gives her candid opinion, as well as sharing helpful instructing tips garnered in her many years of instructing.

Oct 23, 2015

In this candid discussion, Fatima shares her experiences of being in the non-traditional roll of supervising men in the Pakistani Air Force and explains how that experience brought her to come to the United States to learn to fly.  Through her own fortitude, and with the help of a loving and supportive mother, Fatima is now a First Officer with Express Jet.

Oct 17, 2015

Learn about the history and on-going mission of this unique museum. Hear about some unusual exhibits as well as some amazing out-reach programs. This wonderful museum is not limited to female pilots; it also features exhibits and information on female air traffic controllers, mechanics and flight attendants.  Additionally, it houses exhibits on female astronauts...from the acclaimed recent astronauts to the lesser known Mercury-13 who were tested and trained long ago but never permitted to participate in missions.  Special events and out-reach programs are also in a class of their own...a mother-daughter Aviation Summer Camp is just one example. 

IWASM is dedicated to preserving the history of women in aviation from the earliest accomplishments to the modern-day achievements.  Consider supporting this FREE museum by becoming a member, donating memorabilia or making a cash donation.

Oct 5, 2015

Lighten up and get ready to chuckle as 17 Ladies--and one young boy--share amusing stories about kids' perspectives on female pilots! Aviation humor that's sure to elicit a laugh.

Sep 22, 2015

Think you need to be some kind of super-being to succeed as a military pilot?  Think again!  Listen in as Susan, a Motivator Extraordinaire, convinces you that you CAN do it!  Whether you are just dreaming of a flying career, or in the midst of one and struggling with confidence issues, Susan just might have the answers. 

Sep 13, 2015

If you've ever dreamed of becoming a Bush Pilot, you won't want to miss this interview with Heather Ford as she tells her amazing story about flying the Australian Outback.

Sep 3, 2015

Delta pilot Helena Reidemar is the first woman in history to receive ALPA's highest honor, the AIR SAFETY AWARD. All will be inspired by her amazing story.  Aspiring female pilots will learn how to save thousands of dollars on flight training expenses.  Pilot moms will be comforted to hear how their hard work and time away from home actually motivates their children. This podcast includes Helena's beautiful, much-talked-about acceptance speech!

Aug 26, 2015

Women In Aviation International is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing networking, education, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women (and men) who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries. Hear about their amazing scholarships in myriad aviaition-related fields and learn how to apply.

Also, check out the upcoming (Sept. 26, 2015) WAI-sponsored GIRLS IN AVIATION DAY wherein local Women In Aviation International chapters will be sponsoring events to bring all of the passion, exploration, learning and excitement of aviation and aerospace to girls worldwide.  Learn how to locate an event near you!

Aug 18, 2015

Women In Corporate Aviation Organization has 10 scholarships and, as of this interview, fewer than that number of applicants. In this podcast, Stacey Kotrla describes each scholarship in detail.  There scholarships for pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers, mechanics and management. Advancing pilots...imagine beefing up your resume with a CJ3 Type Rating, a $22,000 scholarship from CAE SimuFlite!  Hey GUYS...don't let the name fool you...WCA runs an equal-opportunity scholarship fund.  These scholarships are not gender restricted.  ACT FAST...the application deadline is August 30!  If you are reading this after the deadline, you are NOT too late as WCA offers a new round of scholarships every 6 months!

Aug 12, 2015

Jacque Boyd, long time Ninety-Nine member and co-chair of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund, tells you everything you need to know to become a member and qualify for amazing scholarships and mentoring. Even student pilots shouldn't wait to join as they can qualify for scholarships too! There is also funding for non-pilots doing research in an applicable field. Don't wait to listen and join!

Aug 5, 2015

Mary Latimer is a woman who, when she didn't like the ratio of male-to-female pilots in the world, put together a plan and did something about it.  She established GIFT Academy...a place where females can get a week of FREE flight instruction--you pay only a nominal fee for aircraft and fuel--in the company of other girls and women.  The academy is a family affair in which Mary's pilot-daughter, Tamara, and pilot-grand-daughter, Amanda, also participate.  If you are a gal who simply wants to conquer your fear-of-flying, GIFT Academy can help with that, too!  If you are unable to attend GIFT Academy, know that Mary and Tamara will both, very generously, give you free mentoring via phone or email.

All the information you need is in this podcast.  Let Mary's multi-faceted aviation career as an Aircraft Mechanic, Flight Instructor, Corporate Pilot, Air Traffic Controller and Pilot Examiner be the inspiration for your success!

Jul 29, 2015

In this interview with Juliet Grant Lindrooth, whose heart beats to the tune of an aircraft engine, learn how to have a successful career as an airline pilot and still raise your own children.  Hear about an aspect of retirement planning you may have overlooked.  And know that there is hope for bouncing back from the loss of your FAA medical...even after 8 years!

Jul 17, 2015

Embry Riddle graduate, Melinda Walton, paid her dues with years of flight instructing before moving into the airlines.  Furloughed just after the 911 downturn, this stay-at-home mom was faced with the toughest decision of her life when she got the call-back six years later.  Melinda now flies scenic tours of the Adirondacks and of the Lake Placid Winter Olympic venues out of Lake Placid Airport.  When stepping into a small plane with Melinda, few would guess that they were, not only in the skilled hands of an experienced airline pilot, but also in the presence of a pilot who has flown royalty!

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