It’s an AIRPLANE… It’s a CAR… No, It’s a Flying Car!

More Pilot Speak

“I was changing lanes to get to the right most lane since I needed to do a right turn, and keeping an eye on the two aircraft coming on the right lane, they were at ….”

What! I thought flabbergasted. Did I really say that? I smiled mischievously as I corrected myself and went on with my narrative.

“… and when are you going to tow it to the hanger? I thought you said 1-2 days?” I queried another time.

“… when she was at the other flight…” Oops. Not again, I thought.

Here we go again I thought, amused at the easy slip of the tongue, when it felt totally normal to mix terminology used with one mode of transportation with another mode. The rate of such occurrences can be more frequent especially when one is engaged, preoccupied, or engrossed daily on the topic.

Recently perusing through a car owner’s manual looking for information on controls to open the baggage compartment (oops did it again), I was amused to learn that the terminology shift was not one sided. Cockpit?

As technology and modes of transportation continue to evolve, the day is not far when ground and aerial transportation converge into one. Today there is a distinction between whether it is surface transportation vehicle i.e., a car, or an air transportation vehicle, i.e., an airplane. As technology and automation advanced over the last few decades and continue to evolve, increasing automation in both surface and air transportation has drastically enhanced the capabilities in both modes of transportation. Self-driving cars continue to grow and replace manual transmission vehicles just as drones have started to invade the skies. In the not too distant future, it will become fairly common for someone to drive out of their hanger, accelerate to take-off speed, lift-off, cruise at altitude to desired destination, descend, land and taxi-in, park, and head in for a another day at the office. 

That future of the flying car is coming and will bring forth a host of blended terminology and these unexpected slips of the tongue will no longer be atypical, but the norm.

Book Review: Fly Girls

The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII

Written by P. O’Connell Pearson, Fly Girls, tells the stories of the daring women pilots who helped win World War II. Only men were allowed to fly military airplanes and as war loomed, the US Army Airforce had a desperate need for skilled pilots. Through pure determination, 1,100 female pilots were finally allowed to ferry planes from factories to bases, to tow targets for live ammunition artillery training, to test repaired planes and new equipment among other things.

There is Jacqueline Cochran whose persistence and perseverance in appealing to the US Army Air Corps, or advancing the ideas to General Arnold at a White House event to allow women to support the military pilots by conducting noncombat flying jobs finally paid off. She was invited to head a program for training women pilots. As head of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) she supervised the training of over one thousand women to fly experimental Air Force planes.

There is Nancy Harkness Love who convinced Col. Tunner of using experienced women pilots to supplement the existing pilot force and was instrumental in recruiting 29 experienced women pilots to join the newly created Women’s Auxiliary Ferry Squadron (WAFS). During her tenure as Commander of the ferrying squadrons the WAFS merged with the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD) and became a single entity: the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

There is Cornelia Fort who was airborne on that fateful day and saw with her own eyes when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. She went on to become the second applicant to be accepted to the WAFS. She along with many other women pilots flew successful aircraft deliveries.

Fly Girls covers the stories of these and other daring women who through their grit and determination, patriotism, love of flying, and willingness to serve worked tirelessly during the war effort and helped win the war.

A brief description about the book on Amazon reads:

In the tradition of Hidden Figures, debut author Patricia Pearson offers a beautifully written account of the remarkable but often forgotten group of female fighter pilots who answered their country’s call in its time of need during World War II.”

The book can be purchased as hardback, paperback, or kindle.

See Also:
Jacqueline Cochran
Nancy Harkness Love
Cornelia Fort
Betty Gillies
Betty Tackaberry Blake
Teresa James
Ola Mildred Rexcoat
Ann Baumgartner

WAFS: Betty Tackaberry Blake

“Just believe in yourself. Study and work hard, and you can get to your goal, no matter what it is, if you just believe in yourself and try

Betty Tackaberry Blake was a United States aviator who witnessed the arrival of the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and was the graduate from the first class of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS).

Source: Veteran Tributes

Born on October 20, 1920 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Betty Guild was encouraged to learn to fly by Amelia Earhart whom she met when she was 14 years old. Betty took her first flight at 15. She earned her license from the Civilian Pilot Program at University of Hawaii and went on to complete her commercial and instructor pilot training. On Dec 7, 1941 she witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor from her balcony. She had received her instructor’s rating and regular commercial license the previous afternoon, but civilian flights were immediately banned in Hawaii.

In 1942 Betty married Robert Tackaberry, a naval officer. She later applied and was accepted to the first class of Jackie Cochran’s new experimental flight training program Army Air Corps base in Houston, TX. She served as ferrying pilot stationed in Long Beach, CA. After the WASP was disbanded, she received instruction at the air force officer’s training school in Orlando, FL. She served as simulated flight instructor for air force trainees until 1945, when she divorced Tackaberry and stopped flying.

She later married George Blake, an officer in the Air Transport Command and moved to Arizona. She passed away on April, 9th 2015 at the age of 94. She is believed to be the last surviving graduate of the first WASP training class during World War II.

See Also:
Wings Across America
Veterans Tributes