Aviation for Women

SEP-OCT 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

Issue link: https://afwdigital.epubxp.com/i/1014503

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18 AviationforWomen S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 Using Aviation as a Healing Tool A bout 10 years ago, when I received my A irbus A 320 t ype rating scholarship from WA I, I thought I was headed to the airlines. During my scholarship in- terview, I remember specifically telling them that I was planning to head to Frontier Airlines. I didn't end up at Frontier, and although I nev- er used the type rating for its intended purpose, the scholarship took me further than I ever would have dreamed. Having the type rating opened opportunities to me that brought me to Montana. And it is here that I was meant to be, doing what I love. I came to Summit Aviation as the chief in- structor nine years ago after completing my scholarship training. We all know insurance can be finicky, so when we were approached about conducting specialized training in a turbine air- craft, my past turbine experience coupled with the Airbus type rating was the foot in the door. Completion of that training opened other doors, and soon the company began to grow. Shortly thereafter, my boss Ben Walton ap- proached me about starting a charter certifi- cate. I had corporate and airline experience, but now I had to tackle Part 135 rules. We started with one single-engine piston aircraft, and then Summit Aviation grew over time into a multijet charter operator based at the Bozeman Yellow- stone Airport. We began managing aircraft based in various locations flying around the world, while con- tinuing to provide flight training to more than 500 students annually. Some of these students came from Montana State University's flight de- gree program. We hosted mountain flying training, acceler- ated courses, and any other training requested. We just found a way to do it. Yet through all the growth and advancement, there is one dedicated week every year that I am most proud of. Six years ago, Ben approached me with the idea of helping cancer survivors move forward, showing them there are no limits and helping them find freedom. Most of us have been wit- ness to what cancer can do to a human being, and some of us have even waged war on our own bodies with the end goal to survive. This is why we call people who win the battle survi- vors. How ever, battles and wars leave wounds— some physical and visible, and other wounds just as painful but not apparent to the human eye. Every July, during the annual Cancer Sur- vivor Flight Camp, four young adults, whose past memories are of doctors, surgeries, treat- ments, and sickness, have the opportunity to ex- perience the unmeasurable joy of living. The Cancer Survivor Flight Camp was born in partnership with Eagle Mount. We planned a five-day course that includes one-on-one in- struction with CFIs, over 10 hours of flight time in our Diamond aircraft, ground school courses covering topics such as basic aerodynamics and cross-country flight planning, as well as behind- the-scenes tours of rarely seen areas like the traffic control tower and private hangars. It's all made possible with private donations and the donated time of our instructors. The in-air in- Every July, during the annual Cancer Survivor Flight Camp, four young adults, whose past memories are of doctors, surgeries, treatments, and sickness, have the opportunity to experience the unmeasurable joy of living. W H E R E A R E T H E Y N O W ? J A N I N E S C H W A H N PHOTOS BY CAPTURENOWSTUDIOS

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