Q: You have spoken about learning to fly at the age of 25. What airplanes did you fly?March 29, 2014
A: I learned to fly at a small airport in Caldwell, NJ. Flying is expensive and since I didn’t have much money, I sought a job at Liberty Aviation, the local flight school, in exchange for flying lessons. For every three hours I worked, I earned a flying lesson. At the time it cost $25/hour to rent a plane, plus $10/hour for an instructor, and I was fortunate to find an excellent flight instructor who offered to teach me for free.
After I completed ground school at Clifton High School, I took my first flying lesson. It was on April 1, 1978 in a (two-seat) Cessna 150. During the following months I flew every chance I could, in Cessna 150s and newer Cessna 152s, and also occasionally in Piper Cherokees. On September 24, 1978 I received my private pilot’s license.
Then I got checked-out in a larger (four-seat) Cessna 172. For my instrument training I flew Cessna 150s and 172s. I received my instrument rating in April 1979.
Next I trained for a commercial pilot’s license and a multi-engine rating. I flew Cessna 172s and a twin-engine Piper Seminole and obtained my license and rating in May 1980.
In December 1980 I began Boeing 727 flight engineer training at Flight International in Atlanta, GA. Most of this was in Boeing-727 flight simulators with Delta airline pilots as instructors. My check-ride was in a Boeing-727 owned by FedEx. I received my flight engineer’s certificate in February 1981. At the time I was the only woman in the entire school!
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