The Third Wright Brother

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So far I am half way through my first semester here at Eastern Kentucky University and I absolutely love it. I feel I have already learned so much! It is one thing sitting in a classroom during high school and it is another thing when you are actually interested and love learning about the amazing people who created our world of aviation. What these courageous men and women did is inspiring by the sacrifices they made in order to achieve their dreams. One person that I have learned about and really thought highly of was the woman who was so called the third Wright brother.
Katherine Wright was the sister to the famous Wilbur and Orville Wright. Katharine made her first flights while in Europe – she was the third woman to fly in an airplane, behind Teresa Peltier and Edith Berg. Wilbur took her aloft several times, once in front of King Edward VII of England to make the point that even young ladies could travel through the air as easily as in motorcars. Katherine was involved in aviation as well but her impact that she had on the boys was something nobody could replace. A lot of people believe Wilbur and Orville kept pursuing because of her. She was called the third Wright brother considering her impact she had on them. Some interesting facts about Katherine was at the age of fifteen years old it became her job to care for the boys after their mothers death from tuberculosis. She cared for them and raised them throughout the rest of their childhood.
When her brothers were heavily involved with their flying Katherine stood beside them. The boys eventually decided to move their test flights from Kitty Hawk, NC and began to perfect their powered flying machine at Huffman Prairie just outside Dayton, Ohio, Katharine would round up a few trusted teachers to come out and help with the experiments. The aircraft and the launching mechanism were too large for the Wright brothers to handle on their own. She arranged other volunteers to help her brothers on the flying machine, and she even managed her bothers business affairs and became an officer in their company later on. Wilbur, Orville, and Katherine were all awarded the Legion of Honor by the French. Who knows where aviation would have gone if Katherine wasn’t there to care for and encourage her brothers every step of the way. For that, I look up to Katherine and thank her for her impact on aviation.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone is Essential

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In my small hometown of 2,500 people, I am two hours away from the closest international airport and don’t have a lot of guidance or mentors in the field of aviation. I learned about camp “SOAR” through reading Aviation for Women Magazine and realized it was the perfect opportunity for me at that point in time. A camp that helped me learn about different career paths in aviation for my future was exactly what I set out to experience. So at seventeen years old, I’m proud to say that I traveled from Shinnston, West Virginia to Oshkosh, Wisconsin by myself and surrounded myself with aviation enthusiasts. Now of course, I felt uncomfortable. This was a huge scary step for me to travel on my own. Going through multiple airports to connect flights was intimidating to me. Especially in larger cities compared to what I was used to with my hometown. My courage to leave my comfort zone turned out to be a life changing experience for me that I am very grateful I had. Because I left my comfort zone that was the spark that has led me to accomplish everything thus far in my Aviation career. It was an experience of a lifetime that I will remember forever. My parents were supporting me every step of the way and are the ones who taught me how “Leaving your comfort zone is essential.” I will always remember this life lesson and continue to use it to my advantage when facing something new and scary.
By facing my fear and traveling to attend a camp at Oshkosh now not only do I want to be successful like the women I met, but I want to help others in my community be successful as well. I know that hard work and perseverance do pay off when working to achieve a goal. I hope to continue to face challenges, leave my comfort zone and accomplish all of my goals ahead in my future.

My Aviation Autobiography

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Flight has always been fascinating to me. Although I am from a small town in West Virginia with little aviation opportunities, I can remember at the age of six years old my Mother holding me in her arms while we looked up into the sky. She could name the type of aircraft flying over-head, and I thought that was amazing. It wasn’t only my mother who helped peek my interest in aviation. My father also supported my interests. With their help I was able to participate in an after school assignment and a summer camp that changed my life forever.
My story begins on a beautiful sunny afternoon, when I told my parents about an extra credit assignment when I was in the seventh grade. The Young Eagles Program was giving free airplane rides to any student who wanted them. So, being the parents that they are, they helped me to get involved and my father drove me to our local airport CKB. I was able to take my first flight in a Cessna 172. From that day on I was in love with flying. I wanted to stay in the sky forever with that pilot. As I got older I was deeply involved with sports and school, but around the age of 17 my love for flying was becoming more of a passion.
The final spark came when I was reading an article about a camp called “Women Soar, You Soar” in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I decided to travel on my own, with my parents’ support, to attend the camp. The camp consisted of 75 female students and 35 female mentors all involved with aviation. I always loved flying, but had little opportunity considering I am from West Virginia. It had never occurred to me that I could actually be the pilot. Those mentors changed my life, and I came home with the confidence that I had never had before, and a determination ready to take on anything. I found a fellow aviation lover and instructor in my area who was in his late seventies. He had over thirty-three thousand hours of flying and he agreed to give me lessons. I’ve learned all of the basics from Larry, and without him I may not have decided to really pursue this career.
Without the help and guidance from my family, friends, and mentors, I would never be the person I am today or have had the opportunity to study aviation here at EKU. I am truly blessed to have those people in my life that have taught me so many wonderful life lessons.