Donated drawing of Jerrie Mock helps raise money for WAI chapter

A short time ago, I was fea­tured in a short blurb in Aviation for Women mag­a­zine pub­li­cizing my custom draw­ings of air­planes. One of the responses I received from this men­tion was an email asking if I’d be willing to con­tribute somehow to help out a new WAI chapter. Named Spirit of Columbus after Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock’s air­plane, this chapter needed to raise funds for its charter and its mis­sion of spreading the word about Jerrie Mock. I’m all for sup­porting women in avi­a­tion, so I told her I was in!

My pencil drawing of Jerrie Mock and her airplane, Spirit of Columbus.

My pencil drawing of Jerrie Mock and her air­plane, Spirit of Columbus.

So, who is Jerrie Mock? She is the first woman to fly solo around the world. She did so in 1964, becoming a true pio­neer for women in avi­a­tion at a time when avi­a­tion was still very much con­sid­ered a man’s world.

WAI Spirit of Columbus Chapter members at the Jerrie Mock statue dedication. See my framed drawing at right!

WAI Spirit of Columbus Chapter mem­bers at the Jerrie
Mock statue ded­i­ca­tion. See my framed drawing to the right of the statue!

My drawing was based on Jerrie’s favorite photo of her­self in front of her plane, wearing pants (as she pre­ferred), and was raf­fled off during an unveiling of a statue hon­oring her in Columbus, Ohio. I’m happy to report that enough money was raised from my drawing and other item sales for the chapter charter! The winner of my drawing will dis­play it where she works at NetJets. I’m happy that in a small way I was able to help this chapter spread the word about Mock’s amazing achieve­ment and inspire more women to reach for the skies!

From the WAI blog:

Funds are now being raised through the Columbus Foundation to place a sculp­ture at Port Columbus International Airport where Mock flew in and out in 1964. Learn about upcoming events, con­tribute to the sculp­ture fund or pur­chase Jerrie’s book at

Read more about the event at the WAI Connect Blog: Statue Unveiled Honoring Jerrie Mock, First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World.

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Publicity in Aviation for Women magazine!

If you’re a Women in Aviation, International (WAI) member, you may have noticed a little blurb on me in your July/August issue of Aviation for Women mag­a­zine! Look at the lower right corner on page 17, and you’ll find a small pic­ture of a recent custom drawing I did (orig­i­nally 18×24 inches) and some infor­ma­tion about what I offer, as well as a link to my Etsy shop.

Do you have a photo of a plane or some­thing else you’d like to turn into a pencil or pen drawing? I’d love to create a spe­cial gift or keep­sake for you. Often sub­jects for this pur­pose are air­planes and houses as gifts for the owners. I even recently drew a lion for a spe­cial boy that was very well received. Contact me and we can talk about your ideas!

Thank you so much to Amy Laboda and everyone at WAI who gen­er­ously offered me some publicity.

Page 17 from the July/August issue of Aviation for Women, with a blurb about my artwork!

Page 17 from the July/August issue of Aviation for Women, with a blurb about my artwork!

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Flight Emergency in the Apple iBookstore

flight-emergency-cover-bigIf you’ve got an iPad or iPhone, stop by the iBook­store and check out Flight Emergency! This ver­sion of the ebook has been specif­i­cally for­matted for Apple’s devices, with high-quality images. Just tap your way through each deci­sion tree, or go back and make dif­ferent deci­sions once you’ve explored one way. Download a sample or the entire book from the iBookstore.

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Pioneers of Aviation History: The WASP Museum in Sweetwater, Texas

During a cross-country road trip last month, I stopped in Sweetwater, Texas, where the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) trained at Avenger Field during WWII. The sur­rounding land­scape is dom­i­nated by forests of huge wind­mills stretching to the horizon, with farms and small towns dwarfed below. In places there were so many, it was a bit eerie. As we turned off Interstate 20 and approached the WASP museum, we imag­ined the women pilots of the 1940s would have been star­tled to see these white giants scat­tered across their training grounds.

The WASP Museum is located in a hangar at Avenger Field. Admission is free. A friendly woman with a won­derful Texas accent was there to give us a short guided tour of the exhibits and answer ques­tions. A gift shop had books, t-shirts, and posters for sale.

The museum is small but has some very mem­o­rable exhibits. One of these was a target flag donated by former WASP Beverly Beesemyer. We smiled at the thought of this pretty girl next door flying a mil­i­tary plane out in the desert, towing this sur­pris­ingly small cloth flag (about 2 feet square!) for the male pilots, who used it for in-flight target prac­tice. It is pock­marked with col­orful bullet holes. The bul­lets were color-coded by pilot to later see who was hit­ting the mark most often. A video inter­view of Ms. Beesemyer plays in a loop, so we were able to hear her speak first­hand about her adven­tures. We felt grateful someone took the time to record her story in this way.

We were able to get a glimpse into the daily life of the WASP with the bar­racks dis­play. Small, tidy beds and wooden wardrobes were arranged against the walls, with study desks in the middle of the room, just as they were in the 1940s. A spartan lifestyle focused entirely on flight training! Though surely a box of candy or two was hidden away once in a while?

Also in the museum is one of the instru­ment sim­u­la­tors used in WASP training, with a com­pli­cated arrange­ment of gears and cir­cuits to work the instru­ments and record the pilots’ inputs. We mar­veled at the things accom­plished back then without computers!

During a recent reunion at the museum which included big band music, all attending WASP made hand impres­sions and wrote their names in cement slabs. These are dis­played in rows in the museum, with a cor­re­sponding 1940s photo and biog­raphy of each woman. What fas­ci­nating and diverse lives they led. Even today they would be an extra­or­di­nary group of women, but in those days they were even more excep­tional – and in some cases, undoubt­edly col­orful! It seemed to me to have been a very spe­cial moment in time when these women were gath­ered here together, making history.

As a side note, if you’re hungry while in Sweetwater, you’ve got to try Allen’s Fried Chicken. A real down-home Texas family style restau­rant, you sit at large tables with other guests while fried chicken and about 10 sides are served up, all you can eat. When you’re done, you pay $9 per person at an old punch-button cash reg­ister. It was a great way to soak up the local flavor and meet some nice people.

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Rich Stowell’s eBooks Now in Apple’s iBookstore

Pilot, flight instructor, and author Rich Stowell, known as “The Spin Doctor,” is an expert on the sub­ject of loss of con­trol in air­planes. He has pro­duced books and four DVD pro­grams cov­ering spins, emer­gency maneu­vers, and aer­o­batics. He also pro­vides per­son­al­ized training to make pilots safer and more knowl­edge­able in the air. Now his two books, Emergency Maneuver Training and Stall/Spin Awareness are avail­able in ebook format in Apple’s iBookstore!

An excerpt from his news release:

In June, Stowell will cel­e­brate 25 years as a full-time avi­a­tion edu­cator. He is the 2006 National CFI of the Year, an eight-time Master Instructor, and a charter member of the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators. He has logged more than 33,000 spins and 24,000 landings.

It was an honor and a plea­sure to work with Rich on this project! If you are a pilot of any expe­ri­ence level, Rich’s books and flight training pro­grams are well worth your time, and just may save your life someday.

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Wings Club recognizes Patty Wagstaff with Outstanding Aviator Award

Tell me some­thing I don’t know, right? Patty Wagstaff is a role model in so many ways, for women, for pilots, for anyone who wants to pursue big goals. Here’s an excerpt from the story in General Aviation News:

Wagstaff’s accom­plish­ments broke bar­riers and opened doors for other women to follow, club offi­cials noted. In 1991 she became the first woman to win the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships and she would go on to win the Nationals three times, for three con­sec­u­tive years. In addi­tion to these U.S. Championships, she has earned a posi­tion on the U.S. Aerobatic Team at the World Aerobatic Championships six times, and six times won the Betty Skelton “First Lady of Aerobatics” Award.

…Wagstaff vol­un­teers with the Kenya Wildlife Service, giving recur­rent and aer­o­batic training to law enforce­ment offi­cers patrolling for poachers of ele­phant tusks and rhi­noc­eros horns.

What a lady! It is truly a high honor to have Patty’s endorse­ment on my book, when I’ve looked up to her for so long. I’ve been able to see her per­form once at the Reno Air Races, where she made my jaw drop with her amazing octagon. It was unfor­get­table. Yet she remains a friendly, down-to-earth person with all her fame. If you have the chance to see her fly, I’d encourage you not to hes­i­tate – and bring some young people along with you, too! It might be the spark that starts the career of a future pilot. At the very least, they’ll become an instant Patty Wagstaff fan.

Visit the Official Patty Wagstaff web­site to learn more and see her show schedule.

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More Dutch press in AOPA’s Pilots & Planes in The Netherlands

On the heels of the last review from the Dutch mag­a­zine All Clear comes another men­tion of Flight Emergency in AOPA’s pub­li­ca­tion in The Netherlands, Pilots & Planes. Thanks to Peter Mundy of The Pilot Shop at Lelystad Airport for sending this!

book review for Flight Emergency in AOPA Pilots & Planes, The Netherlands

Book review for Flight Emergency in AOPA Pilots & Planes, The Netherlands

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All Clear in Holland

While Holland may be small in size rel­a­tive to the United States, their enthu­siasm for avi­a­tion is very big! All Clear is a mag­a­zine that just fea­tured a book review of Flight Emergency. The review was written by Rene Verjans of in The Netherlands. Rene, a pilot, avi­a­tion enthu­siast, and avid book reader, writes excel­lent book reviews (56 as of the day of this post) in Dutch and English, all aviation-themed. Many of these books are in English and easily found online, so take a look! Thanks Rene.

Cover of the Dutch avi­a­tion mag­a­zine All Clear

Inside: Rene’s book review in Dutch

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Discover a World of Handmade Items (and my Aviation Illustrations!) on Etsy

book illustration from Flight Emergency

Illustration of the scary, stormy approach from the chapter “On Thin Ice” from the book Flight Emergency by Reya Kempley

Have you ever vis­ited Etsy? It’s a fan­tastic online site where people from all over the world sell hand­made and vin­tage items of all kinds, from fur­ni­ture to clothing, can­dies to iPad cases. Members can create “trea­suries,” or col­lec­tions, of their favorite items within a theme of their choosing. As an example, here’s a recent trea­sury fea­turing a print of one of my illus­tra­tions from Flight Emergency, enti­tled “Traveling on the Wings of Angels” from Fiona Zakka in Europe. This par­tic­ular one is from the chapter “On Thin Ice,” where, depending on your deci­sions, you might face icing in this scary storm during your approach to land!

Take a look around Etsy and you’ll find some beau­ti­fully crafted, unique items made by tal­ented people from all over the world. Most are happy to create custom orders as well. Once you see what inven­tive entre­pre­neurs can create out­side of mass-production, I bet you’ll be hooked!

P.S. If you’d like to see more of my illus­tra­tions like the one above, check out the Aviation Illustration sec­tion of rockplanet’s shop, or the book Flight Emergency.

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The Right Seat by Avram Goldstein

The Right Seat book coverThis book is a very detailed, thor­ough course in the basics of gen­eral avi­a­tion flight, radio com­mu­ni­ca­tion, nav­i­ga­tion, and emer­gency pro­ce­dures for non-pilots, yet is easy to read and enjoy. If you are a pilot in all but the cer­tifi­cate, you enjoy learning about the hows and whys of flight, and would feel more com­fort­able and have more fun in a small plane with the knowl­edge to under­stand what’s going on and help out in an emer­gency, than this is a great book for you! I’d even rec­om­mend it as a book for those who are con­sid­ering flight training, or even pilots who are returning to flight after a long hiatus as a basic review.

I do have a few crit­i­cisms. One, I think the level of tech­nical detail would be over­whelming to some, and a more basic “pinch-hitter” course or video would be more appro­priate for them. Two, some of the photos and infor­ma­tion are very out­dated in today’s glass panel world, so a new edi­tion incor­po­rating newer tech­nology would be useful. Three, in my expe­ri­ence flying the remote West, there may not be a VOR with voice capa­bility or an air traffic con­troller around to help direct you to a large air­port, yet this is the only emer­gency landing sce­nario the author describes. A short sec­tion on the strate­gies of off-airport land­ings would be a good idea!

A nice addi­tion would be a easy-to-read, simple check­list in the back to turn to in the event of an emer­gency, if the pilot is inca­pac­i­tated or the plane’s check­list is unde­ci­pher­able to a non-pilot. The steps and dis­cus­sion included in the book is great for ground reading, but much too lengthy for a quick-reference.

Find this and my other book reviews on goodreads!

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