For Victoria and Ainsley, it was no ordinary Thursday. Instead of attending school, they ventured into the sky in a Cessna C-172R.
The sixth-grade girls had never considered aviation as a career option, so in honor of Women of Aviation Week, LETU flight instructor Lee Foster introduced them to the thrill of being a pilot.
Both girls each got their own ride in the pilot’s seat, with Foster as their co-pilot.
“The neat thing about taking kids flying is that they’re not limited,” Foster said. “I took each of these young ladies on a flight, and I let them fly the aircraft. I showed them that learning to fly an airplane is possible for them. “
Before flying, Victoria expressed that she wanted to grow up to be an architect. After landing, she bounded out of the Cessna exclaiming; “I think I want to be a pilot now!”
Foster even let the girls land the aircraft themselves.
“It’s the most difficult part,” Foster said, “but they asked if they could, so I let them.”
In what is usually considered a male-dominated field, both LETU female aviation students and instructors alike feel it’s imperative to make sure young girls are aware of their options in the field.
"There's so much you can do in aviation that's not just maintenance or not just flying," senior aviation student Grace Peterson said. "So it offers a lot of different things that can fit you and what you're good at."
“I still remember the first time I saw a female airline captain," Foster said. "I didn’t know women were allowed to be commercial airline pilots until I saw her. I realized that there were commercial pilots who were female, just not very many of them. From then on, I knew that it wasn’t just a job for men. Hopefully that’s what we showed these young ladies.”