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BackStory September 14, 2011

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight, General Ramblings.
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(Pictured :: The day I became a pilot!)

So I’ve been getting the question a lot lately about how I got into flying, and I figure it best to put it out into the public arena.  So let me share my origin story of how I did it and what flying means to me. (more…)

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Oxford finds solution to cutting airplane emissions February 9, 2010

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight, Politics.
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Can we cut emissions down?

For those that live near an airport and for those in the industry, this subject hits home.  Emissions from airplanes and how to cut them down.  When I was training at Santa Monica airport, I had neighbors who continued to blame every malady on airplanes (or so it seemed.  They even started an organization called C.R.A.A.P. which stands for Community Residents Against Airport Pollution).  Maybe they could learn something from the Brits at Oxford University.  A study completed by the Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and Environment says that we can cut down airplane fumes by better management by air traffic control.  It includes more direct flight paths and less waiting to land.  You can read the article here.  Of course England’s flight rules are much different from America’s, but I like the overall message.  Perhaps we can all still fly and make our neighbors happy too.

My Friend Claire Walters has “Gone West” January 18, 2010

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight.
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I am sad to say my friend Claire Walters passed away this month.  She was the second female flight instructor I had met during my naive private pilot days and she introduced me to the 99s organization.  I spent many evenings with her at her home with her rascal of a dog sharing stories like the one about how her husband – who was held captive – escaped Africa by flying him and his crew over several countries hoping to have enough fuel to get into Europe.  Not only was she was the force behind the Palms 99s Chapter, she was a force to anyone who flew at SMO.  Everyone at Santa Monica Airport new her and loved her.  She will be missed..

The LA Times did a great article about her which you can read here.

Sally Ride Returns to Earth June 24, 2009

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight.
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Today is a famous day for women in space and it happened in 1983.

Sally Ride is a former astronaut and the first American woman to reach outer space – and also the yougest American to enter outer space. Her story is interesting, because in order to get to the starry skies, she applied along with 8,000 other people to an ad in the newspaper seeking applicants for the space program.  In 1978, she was part of the first astronaut class to accept women.  In 1983, she took part in her first space shuttle mission, serving as a crewmember on board the Challenger and returned June 24 from her first mission.  After 343 hours in space (over several years), she became a professor of physics at UC San Diego (my alma mater!) and is in the business of promoting the sciences to children – with a particular focus on girls I might add.  Sally Ride Science is a company she founded in 2001 that creates entertaining science programs and publications for elementary and middle school kids.   This woman rocks!

AOPA 2008 November 9, 2008

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight.
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Flying the Cirrus SR22 I just got back yesterday from AOPA in San Jose, the Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association Exposition they hold each year.  It was full of pilots, planes, and some great energy with the presidential election and woes of the economy.  All in all, I had a great week talking to lady pilots like Dorothy who helped with the design of future watch models, and celebrating my 25th birthday Tuesday night with my Cirrus friends.  Good to be home and with a flight like the picture above, it was some of the best scenery I’ve seen in the sky!

They Call it Super Duper Tuesday February 4, 2008

Posted by Abingdon in California.
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Tomorrow millions of Americans will go to the polls and decide which candidates will get approximately 40% of all of the primary delegates in their party…It’s a big deal.

The pundits have kicked around a lot of hype and as usual there is a dog-eat-dog media blitz over every single petty syllable of candidate mud slinging, but the truth is, at it’s core, this may be the most important electoral race of the modern information age.

Apart from a few divisive issues, studies have shown that the values of even the most politically opposed Americans are still mostly common. Political consultants, spin doctors, and lobbyists have created a mythical culture of a closely and deeply divided nation that simply does not exist. Studies also show that this election has brought out an assembly of richly qualified candidates that has raised the predicted (or potential, depending on how one looks at it) turn-out ratio to an all time high.

More young people are voting than ever, and more minorities are voting than ever. But as usual, women are leading the way across almost all segments of the voting population and that means our values and opinions will have the most influence on the race tomorrow and subsequently the outcome of these primary elections.

What’s at stake is the direction of the first fresh steps the country will take in the wake of policy decisions and a conflict that (some think for better, others think for worse) has permanently changed the global political stance of our nation. Thanks to term limits, even a reelection won’t guarantee our next president will have the time or the congressional cooperation to drastically alter the domestic and foreign policy climate our nation is resting in, but our next president will have an opportunity to set the tone for what could be a trans-administration prolonged effort to build consensus and dispel the myth of a closely and deeply divided nation.

All of the leading candidates have the ability to either bring about change or perpetuate traditional politics. The important thing is to vote for the candidate you believe will set the firmest foundation for what will most likely be the political paradigm of a new generation of voters and citizens involved in the political process.

Please educate yourself, get to the polls, and cast a vote in this critical time. As a nation mired in argument we have stumbled across a point of no return, pray we enter a civilized debate that will let us take our next few steps calm, collected, and together.

WAI? To meet other women who really love to fly! January 22, 2008

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight.
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The WAI conference is coming and I’m totally excited!

It will be my first WAI conference ever, but I read Women in Aviation and I can only imagine that the same type of interesting and helpful information I get from my monthly mag will be super condensed and jam packed into each of the breakout sessions.

This year’s theme is “California Dreamin'” and the location is San Diego (in the far south of CA). What’s great about the conference is that it is focused on topics related to making women better candidates for careers as professional pilots. I’ve been lucky in that I settled into a pretty great job right after getting my commercial license, but I can see where many, many women could really benefit from the discussions, education sessions, and networking that is going to be available at the conference.

Perhaps it is the meeting and talking with a wide variety of women pilots that intrigues me most.  I’m a member of the Palms Chapter of the 99s and we are a fun bunch, but with the exception of the CFIs and myself, most of the Women I have met through the 99s have been GA pilots. I can’t wait to see the diverse tapestry of working women pilots at the WAI conference.

It truly is a magnificent feat to work one’s way up to the level of commercial pilot, and the paths each of us have taken from that point on are fascinating. I strive daily to promote future women in flight and to honor those who have come before me. Going to the WAI conference, looking about, and seeing thousands of us all writing the history of today’s aviatrixes will certainly be a sight to see.

Busy, Busy, Busy…Holiday!..Busy, Busy… January 3, 2008

Posted by Abingdon in California, Flight.
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The holidays this year were amazingly busy. It seemed like I had just put away the costumes and decorations from Halloween and eaten the last leftover turkey sandwich from Thanksgiving, when all of a sudden it was time to go shopping.

I looked at my car keys and thought of the mall, and the traffic, and the hassle and thought, “this year, I’m going to put spin on shopping.” More precisely, a propeller spin.

I realized, it’s 2007 and I’m a pilot! There are tons of little shops and nooks all over the southern coastal region of California from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and I was able to get to a bunch of them by virtue of the local GA airports. I grabbed a couple friends to cut down of the cost of gas and we bopped out of Santa Monica to a host of little spots over a few days leading up to gift giving time.

My family delighted in the myriad of artifacts from differing parts of the map, and I was actually relaxed after shopping for once. It was a totally fun experience, and next year I’m hoping to expand upon my travels to nearby states.

Now, if I could just find a way to incorporate flight into New Year’s…