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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedWomen in Aviation International breakfast
By Kristy Hemp
Elissa Lines gathers the Women in Aviation group for a photo at EAA AirVenture 2010. Photo by Brett Brock.

Women in Aviation International (WAI) members and aviation enthusiasts gathered at the WAI Celebrity Connect Breakfast on Friday, July 30, in the Nature Center.

WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian introduced special guests Bonnie Dunbar, astronaut/CEO of Seattle’s Museum of Flight, and Peggy Whitson, astronaut/space station commander. It was also Whitson’s first visit to AirVenture.

Country music singer and pilot Aaron Tippin spoke about performing with the USO and his upcoming tour with the Commemorative Air Force, the Red, White, and Loud Tour, featuring the B-29 FIFI.

He also performed two of his hits, “Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly” and “There Ain’t Nothing Wrong with the Radio.”
Jessica Cox, born without arms, talked about Able Flight, dedicated to offering people with disabilities unique opportunities through flight training, and how the organization helped her realize the dream of earning her pilot certificate.

David Hartman, television anchor and actor, and actress Elijah DeJesus, from the movie Pearl, spoke to the group. Pearl is about the late Pearl Carter Scott, a Chickasaw girl from Oklahoma who was once the youngest certificated pilot in America and a commercial pilot at the age of 14.

Jim Campbell, who was once married to Vicki Cruse and provided her with her first aerobatic ride, talked about the Vicki Cruse Scholarship Fund, established to provide financial aid to women pilots for emergency maneuver and aerobatic training. Vicki, who was president of the International Aerobatic Club and an aerobatics champion, died in a plane crash in August 2009.

Many Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) attended, along with the modern-day women Air Force pilots. “I’m impressed by the initiative of women pilots to get together and inspire others,” commented first-time WAI breakfast attendee Capt. Cheryl “Score” Buehn, F-16 pilot and T-38 instructor pilot.

Maj. Caroline “Blaze” Jensen, also an F-16 pilot and T-38 instructor pilot and first-time attendee, said, “This is a great atmosphere! I love the camaraderie and the desire to foster and promote women flying.

“It’s wonderful to see women helping other women achieve their goals and encouraging them to just go for it!”

Prizes given away included a pair of VehaloHD sunglasses (a $250 value), Voyager Flight Software System from Seattle Avionics (valued at $499), and a full-registration to the 22nd Annual WAI Conference (valued at $329) in Reno, Nevada, February 24-26, 2011.

Then it was off to AeroShell Square where all female pilots gathered to take the third annual WomenVenture photo.

WAI is located at Booth 2041 in Exhibit Hangar B.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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