May 21, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
Every mother with young children is desperate for it—a little “me time” to focus on her own needs. But when Melissa Williams-Brown, mother of three-year-old twin boys, decided to do something for herself, she was looking for what would become one of the proudest moments of her life.
“I wanted to do something that wasn’t mainstream. It had to be mentally challenging, and it had to be something that was considered ‘hard to do’ but yet attainable—especially considering my hectic schedule with the boys,” she explained.
So with the help of Jeff Gold, a mentor she met through the AOPA Project Pilot Web site, she set out to overcome her fear of flying and earn a private pilot certificate.
“Jeff always e-mailed and called throughout the process and was especially helpful when I would get frustrated at various points in my training,” she said.
On Feb. 8, 2008, one year after deciding to pursue flight training and on the same day her twins turned three, Williams-Brown achieved her goal.
“The feeling of overcoming my fear of flying and getting my certificate is hard to adequately express. I would rate it on the same level as delivering my twin boys for the all-time proudest moment in my life,” she said.
Now she enjoys taking her boys flying and is hard at work on her instrument rating, again with the support of her Project Pilot mentor. In light of her own achievements, Williams-Brown says she would recommend flight training to anyone with an interest—even if they are afraid.
“I think most of my fear was due to lack of knowledge...knowledge really is power. Also, there is nothing like the feeling of freedom when I fly and the feeling of pride that I have because I know that I am one of less than 1 percent of the U.S. population that has that little piece of plastic with my name on the front and a picture of the Wright brothers on the back.”
Help those like Melissa Williams-Brown become acquainted with the benefits of flying. Sign them up for AOPA Project Pilot today, and they’ll receive free flight training information.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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