Fourth title in ‘Clair Bear’ series released

Powder Puff Pilot has released “Claire Bear Flies to Oshkosh,” the latest in a series of full-color picture books starring Claire Bear, a pink-clad aerobatic performer and mentor for aspiring young pilots.

In her fourth aviation picture book, author Sue Hughes describes a visit a to EAA’s AirVenture, “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” held every summer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She implements her characteristic lyrical rhymes to follow Claire Bear as she flies to the event and performs in the world’s greatest airshow.

Anyone who has used the special flight procedures implemented during AirVenture will relate to Claire when she rocks her wings and lands on the green dot at Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport. These are just a few of the unique arrival procedures that enable air traffic controllers to handle more daily air traffic during the 10 days of AirVenture than Atlanta’s Hartsfield, Chicago’s O’Hare, or New York City’s JFK airports.

The Claire Bear series is the brainchild of Sue Hughes — a pilot since 1996 and a current flight instructor and aviation technical writer — whose goal is to introduce the thrills and exhilaration of aviation to a new generation. With her latest title, Hughes describes the enormity and excitement of AirVenture, “although it’s difficult to convey how big this event really is, and how special it is to aviation fans,” explained Hughes. “I’ve been to Oshkosh five times, and can’t wait to go again.”

Hughes credits illustrator Linda Terentiak for bringing the Oshkosh experience to life. The two met at Oshkosh in 2010 and later, when Hughes needed an illustrator for her next book, Terentiak rose to the top of her wish list. “This project took longer than usual,” said Terentiak, “because the drawings were based on actual photos, and we took great pains to get them correct. It is so exciting to see it come together!”

EAA Communications Director Dick Knapinski vouches for the accuracy of the new release, saying, “The book was definitely written by someone who had flown the Oshkosh approach before.” He added, “Love the book and I hope it does great!”

The first in Hughes’ picture book series, Claire Bear Presents… The Pilot Alphabet, now in its fourth printing, was published in 2008. It teaches Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, and the rest of the words that pilots and air traffic controllers use to communicate clearly over the radio. In 2009, Hughes published her second picture book, Claire Bear’s First Solo, which depicts a pilot’s first solo experience. Last year she released her third book, Claire Bear Explains… What Pilots Fly, which offers an overview of the wide variety of missions and aircraft that pilots fly. All three titles have been named by USA Book News as National Best Book finalists.

In addition to publishing, Powder Puff Pilot designs and sells pilot gear and accessories for women, such as a pink pilot logbook, pink aviation headsets, and pink seat cushions. It also carries more than 20 biographies, flight adventures, fiction, and children’s books that are by and/or about amazing aviatrixes.

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