Monday Morning Inspiration: Suzanne Asbury-Oliver

Love in the Clouds

Photo Courtesy: Smithsonian

Suzanne Asbury-Oliver is the only professional female skywriter in the world. She started flying gliders when she was only 14,  soloing at 15 and by the time she was 18, she was a Certified Flight Instructor.

She has been skywriting the skies of United States and Canada for Pepsi Cola Company since 1980. In fact, she met her husband Steve Oliver at the Kentucky Derby while she was skywriting for Pepsi and he was banner towing advertisements in his 1941 Stearman. She and her husband own their own plane and skywriting business called Olivers Flying Circus.

March is Women History Month and Women of Aviation Month.

See Also:

Smithsonian Women in Aviation & Space
Olivers Flying Circus


Monday Morning Inspiration: Blanche Stuart Scott

First Women to Fly

Blanche Scott was the first women to drive across the United States and the first women to fly.

Born in 1889, Blanche Scott’s life spanned from the era of airplane invention, to seeing the first man walk on the moon. In an age when women couldn’t vote and their place was considered to be at home, she became the first woman to drive across the US. There were only 218 miles of roads outside the cities.

Photo courtesy Wikepedia: Blanche Stuart Scott seated at the controls of a Curtiss Model D, circa early 1910s.

Some aviation firsts:

  • She became the first women to take a shot solo hop in the air, when an aircraft she was taxing lifted off the ground.
  • She was the first and only women to receive flight instruction from Glenn Curtiss.
  • She made her first public flight  in October 1910.
  • She set the women’s long distance record for flight of 10 miles and later 25 miles in 1911
  • She became the first women test pilot in America,  the first woman stunt pilot or The Tomboy of the Air
  • She played the lead role in The Aviator’s Bride, the first movie about flying
  • She was also the first women passenger to ride in a passenger jet

March is Women History Month, and Women of Aviation Month.

See Also:

National Women’s Hall of Fame
Smithsonian – Women in Aviation and Space History
Early Aviators

Words on Wednesdays: Amelia


“Where is she,” I stuttered, as I crawled in and literally crashed into Bill’s office.

“My dear chap, are you alright?’ Bill drawled, lazily.

“You do not look good. Were you in an accident?” he queried.

“You know, we were out of Clean-X again, ” he interjected, happy to get the foremost thought in his mind off his chest.

“I knew something weird was happening. I think Bob is crazy about Jill, and always forgets to pack enough. You know, old chap, you really need to come with us next time to Ensenada. Amelia misses you, of course,” he eyed me with disquiet.

“I have it!” he clapped his hands triumphantly, as he about turned to the other matter foremost on his mind.  “You could fly us there, and we will not have to put up with Bob,” he said, enthusiastically, pleased with himself for having solved the problem foremost in his mind.

“You know old chap, my good chap, are you alright?” he asked anxiously. “You really don’t look well. Have you been to see a doctor?” he laughed.

“I mean not me, of course”, he laughed again, loudly, enjoying his joke.

I collapsed, unable to say a word. I opened my lips to speak, but heard nothing.

Crazy Bill, as usual, was ranting off in his British accent.

Where the devil was my Amelia?

See also:


Time for Derby: Always Dreaming or Fast and Accurate?

Derby Day. Check-ride Anniversary. And most importantly the simply joy of flying!

May is always memorable. I got my Private Pilot Certificate. Three years later I got my Instrument rating.

“I hope we will be done by 3:00 pm, ” said Wanda, “I wan’t to watch the Kentucky Derby”

“I hope so too,” thought I. “With positive results.” For it was the day of my private pilot check-ride and I wanted to get home without a pink slip!

It was also Derby Day. And getting home to watch the race would be good too…

I did make it home in time to catch the race that day. That was 16 years ago!

As it happens, Derby day is tomorrow this year (5/6/2017).

Always Dreaming or Fast and Accurate?

Take your pick!

Finals are here… and all I can think of is my NY trip in April :-)

Flying the Hudson River Corridor Exclusion & Montauk Point!

“First will be xxxx aircraft, then John in xxxx will follow on and next will be…” continued Bob from our flight school, who had planned the whole flyout to the last minute detail.

I wondered how in the world we were going to keep the order straight leave alone spot the aircraft in front of us. Countless times ATC gives traffic warnings routinely. Only on a rare occasion am I ever able to spot the traffic. Often, I rely on ATC to tell me that I was clear of the traffic or to provide me deviations to avoid the traffic.

Maybe it will all work out, I thought.

Being in a C172 and in no hurry to exit the Hudson river corridor, I and my passengers opted to fly second last.

Bob in the Cougar was planning to fly last.
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America’s First Lady of the Air

Fly 'n Things

I was annoyed from the start by the attitude of doubt by the spectators that I would never really make the flight. This attitude made me more determined than ever to succeed.

— Harriet Quimby, just prior to her flight across the English Channel, 1912.

[Harriet Quimby, full-length portrait, standing, in aviation costume]

Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress


Harriet Quimby

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An encounter with gliding

Five years ago…. although this happened many years before!

See Also:
Soaring on top of the World

Fly 'n Things

When Les asked me if I wanted to go flying that weekend, of course I jumped at the chance. Having never been in the air, I was excited and exhilarated at the prospect of being airborne. After all, wasn’t this my dream? To fly, to soar, and reach for the stars? Little did I think of thermals, lift and drag.

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Some Interesting Statistics

As 2016 winds down, here are some fun stats. I do maintain a cooking blog, although my flying blog is my primary blog.

I have been blogging since 2001 in other sites such as yahoo, geocities and blogspot. I moved my blog to WordPress sometime in 2010 with 30 prior posts.


It wasn’t until some time in late 2012, that WordPress started to track visitor statistics. It wasn’t also unitl 2012-2013 that I increased the frequency of posts. So it is reasonable that as the frequency of posts increased, the number of views increased, steeply initially, more gradually this past year.

The top 5 countries from which the visitors viewed the posts, with the majority of them (~82% from USA):


Here are the top 5 posts/pages  that were visited in 2016:

Flying to the Bahamas in the C172The Bahamas
The Bahamas
Point-to-point Navigation
Indian Woman Pilots
$500 Vegeburger