It has long been a tradition for aviation enthusiasts to be perceived as elitists who shun outsiders. There is a factual basis for that belief, but its time is largely past. However, the dearth of minority participants in aviation is obvious to anyone who spends a day on the ramp. That’s changing, thank goodness.
When I got into aviation way back when, I didn’t know about Harriett Quimby, or Bessie Coleman, or even the WASP. But I knew Rose Cook. She was a CFII at the flight school where I earned the majority of my tickets. I was assigned to fly with her on a stage check. She was the first woman I ever flew with, and she was in the right seat calling the shots.
Rose was good. Really good. She knew her stuff and put me through the stage check like a real pro. Better than that, she did it without any of the ridiculous intimidation tactics so many male CFIs tended to use to illustrate their dominance. [Read more…]