Chance Meeting at WAI

There are times when chance makes for happily unexpected surprises. This past Thursday at the Women in Aviation, International conference in Reno, Nevada, I was fortunate to find a bit of chance on my side. As I was standing in the hallway near the exhibit hall entrance waiting to meet up with my brother, a fellow conference attendee walked up and said hello. (I was wearing my “First Time” ribbon, which must have helped.) She shook my hand, welcomed me to the conference, and we chatted briefly about who I was and my reasons for coming. I knew I’d seen her in a magazine wearing epaulets, and said so. It turns out I had just met Leja Noe, a Captain for Mesa airlines, and one of the 2010 winners of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship. This is a prestigious award given by the Ninety-Nines each year to a select few women worldwide. I was honored to meet such an accomplished woman pilot!

Leja was on a mission that day to find an “interesting person” to write about in the Show Daily publication, and I was flattered that she thought I fit the bill. During our interview in the media room, I mentioned that I’d learned to fly with my brother, and that our teaming up during lessons was a great way to enhance our flight training. Tarl was subsequently invited in as well for a photo of us together. Leja told us that it was possible her article would appear in Saturday’s Show Daily. Whether it did or not, I was grateful for the experience.

On Saturday, we walked through the doors of the Summit Pavilion to attend the morning’s General Sessions, and each grabbed a copy. Flipping through, we indeed spotted our photo. Leja had written a wonderful article about us, our flight training together, and mentioned my book as well. Thanks, Leja!

Our chance meeting was my good fortune, for I was so happy to meet Leja, an accomplished, intelligent, and very personable woman. It was an added bonus that I became the most minor of celebrities that day–a few people I knew or had met at the conference said, “I saw you in the Show Daily!”

Read the article here, at the WAI Connect blog:
Soaring Siblings Attend WAI Conference by Leja Noe, a Captain for Mesa Airlines.

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4 Responses to Chance Meeting at WAI

  1. Tarl says:

    Hey, it’s not a bad picture of me. Looks like the Daily had a good Photoshop artist on duty.

  2. kari says:

    This is so amazing, Reya! What a great honor!

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