Leading Edge Aviation flies it forward
Written by Kendall Morrison
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2014 was celebrated in grand style at Leading Edge Aviation in Utah (South Valley Regional Airport). The flight school/FBO invited women from the community and Salt Lake City area to come out for a fun-packed day of guest speakers, lunch, and, of course – flying!
Three female pilot guest speakers – Laurie Hope (ATC/private pilot/mom of female navy pilot), Kendall Morrison (Cirrus aircraft instructor/flight department manager), and Kimi McElmurry (new CFI) – shared training and work experiences and tips on how to become involved in the industry either as a pilot or in a variety of other aviation roles.
They fielded questions about challenges and opportunities, stressing hard work and competency but also the tremendously rewarding and awfully fun side of aviation. Laurie, retired air traffic controller and rare female in the early days of her career, put it so well in saying something along the lines of “If you’re worried about being accepted as a woman, just know that what matters most to people is that you can do the job to the standard required – so be really good at what you do!”.
Most of the women brought family or friends along, and the entire group enjoyed conversation and complimentary lunch in the company hangar. The big doors were open to the sunny ramp where four shiny Cessna 172s taxied to and from the runway with excited passengers and potential pilots-to-be.
Of the thirty-one guests attending the event, twenty-six took to the skies on discovery flights donated by Leading Edge Aviation and three have since signed up for lessons. Quite a few others indicated they hope to make flight training and aviator-for-pay a near future endeavor.
Miriam, Kayli, Brenda and Elisa are four of the women who went on flights with LEA instructor Cary Haws. Each had her own reason for coming out on the day, but wanting to see what flying was like and excitement about the experience were common themes for all.