Let’s start it up! ✈️☁️
When someone says, “you have your head in the clouds” it often means that you are a daydreamer. It might also mean that you are someone who doesn’t pay attention.
But what if we changed the meaning of the term?
I’m going to challenge the existing definition.
What if having your “head in the clouds” meant that you were bold, adventurous, daring, and willing to take risks. What if it meant that you turned those daydreams into reality and actually took to the sky.
You are about to meet two females who’ve done just that.
Welcome to our blog:
Head in the clouds: Stella & Lizzy take flight
This blog is for aspiring pilots and those who are interested in flight.
Here you’ll find information on aeronautics for young people. This blog will cover piloting, planes, flight dynamics, communication, aerobatics and airports.
Since so few females consider flight as a potential hobby or professional career, my goal is to get young people, especially young girls, thinking about whether or not they want to have their head in the clouds.
This pilot and "co-pilot" team are about to take you on an adventure.
Are you ready to join them?
Meet Lizzy McFly
Lizzy has been flying since 2005, and she’s unique for many reasons. First of all, she’s the only female aerobatic pilot flying at the Niagara District Airport.
What’s an aerobatic pilot, you ask?
Well, an aerobatic pilot is someone who has a specific rating that allows her to fly stunt planes.
Flying straight isn’t what gets Lizzy excited. She’d rather roll the plane (aileron roll), let the plane do a controlled drop (hammerhead), or land her plane on a grassy runway in a field. That last part isn’t about aerobatics, it’s just plain cool.
Watch Lizzy in action as she rolls, twists, drops and turns her plane.
Being female means that statistically Lizzy is much less likely to have a pilot’s licence, but more likely to have Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
< 7% of commercial pilots are female, but ~ 75% of individuals diagnosed with MS are women.
MS is a neurological disorder caused by a virus that leads to the protective coating around nerves getting destroyed. The protective coating is called “myelin” and it’s a fatty substance that helps your neurons transmit signals to other parts of your body. Think of your neurons like a runway.
A runway is a long, smooth surface that is used to get a plane from the ground up into the air, much like how neurons move signals from one part of your body to another. If the runway isn’t smooth then it’s hard for the plane to take-off. Similarly, if your nerve cells lose their protective coating and become frayed then signals can no longer move easily from one part of your body to another.
Lizzy not only pushes the boundaries in terms of being one of the only female pilots in the area doing stunts, she also shows us that some diseases are manageable and they don’t need to stop us from doing what we enjoy. That’s not to say that Lizzy doesn’t have tough days as someone with MS, it just means that she doesn’t let it stop her from doing what she loves. That is, flying her plane Vyctor through the clouds.
Want to learn more about Lizzy, flying, or MS?
Stella is a nine-year old girl who loves flying and being upside down in planes.
Stella’s first flight with Lizzy was in 2019. They flew together in Lizzy’s plane, Vyctor, and Stella loved every minute.
It doesn’t hurt that Lizzy’s an amazing instructor that can explain what she’s doing with a plane in a way that even a nine-year old totally gets what she’s saying.
From very early on, Stella’s been in the air.
Stella's first ever flight was to Halifax when she was just a few months old. Since then, she’s flown at least ten times to and from the Western Arctic; as well as to Japan, Bermuda, Europe, and the United States.
All this time in big commercial planes meant Stella was already quite comfortable flying. She handled her first flight with Lizzy in an aerobatic plane like a pro.
Like Lizzy, Stella’s head rests comfortably in the clouds.
Vyctor is Lizzy’s second plane, and this plane is anything but plain.
He’s a Cessna 150 Aerobat and Lizzy’s owned him for about twelve years.
You’ll get to know more about Vyctor in future posts.
Meet Ming & Donkey