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.

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30 AviationforWomen S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 W omen who have carved impres- sive careers in aviation are find- ing creative ways to keep work- ing well into t heir 70s. Even when forced to retire, these gals are enjoying an impressive view from the top with no plans to land any time soon. "I really don't have to (work), but I want to," explains Kathy Zancanella, 78, who has managed Calaveras County Airport in California for 29 years. "I get up to go to work every day. I enjoy it." If she was retired, she says, "I'd be hanging out at the airport, so I might as well get paid for it." Kathy works 50 hours a week, doing every- thing from setting the price of fuel to managing the rental of 66 hangars. Bookkeeping is part of it, but she also applies for grants and loans from the FA A and the state to fund various improve- ments around the airport. She has updated the AWOS so that it talks to the FAA, thereby lower- ing the approach minimums at the airport when the weather goes down. To build 22 more han- gars, Kathy collected three months' rent from potential clients, created a "hangar list," and got a state loan for $500,000 to build them. To at- tract more visitors, she serves sweet rolls and cof- fee throughout the day, and lets pilots borrow her pickup truck to go to town. "People come here to hang out," says Kathy, who even works on Saturdays for free. "Some- body should be here on Saturdays for people to stop in and get to know you; then they come back." W hen she isn't managing the airport, Kathy is f lying around in a 1946 Taylorcraft BC12-D. One of her favorite events at the airport is EA A's Young Eagles program when children get rides in airplanes to learn about aviation. Kathy originally owned a travel agency at the airport and was an active member of the Cham- ber of Commerce. She remembers how the air- port went through five managers in seven years. At the time, the county manager begged Kathy to take the job, and the rest is history. "If you have a job that you enjoy then you have to make it your life," Kathy says. "It's a passion. It's my life. Whether it's good or it's bad, it's me." M a r y B u i l d , 7 3 , o f N a p l e s , Maine, and WAI 47462, poured her heart into operating a seaplane base for 16 years before hanging it up to become a flight instructor, and eventually an FA A designated pilot examiner in the New Eng- land area. Starting in a new direc- tion can be daunting, she says, but when the time is right, and there's a fresh challenge on the horizon, R E D E F I N E R E T I R E M E N T B Y L I N D A B E R L I N S o m u c h o f h o w s o m e o n e a p p r o a c h e s r e t i r e m e n t h a s t o d o w i t h t h e i r o w n a t t i t u d e a n d w i l l i n g n e s s t o t r y n e w t h i n g s . 65

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