Latinas in aviation tell their stories, Pieter Johnson talks with Matt Bone from the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group, and Steve Vischer and Grant McHerron bring us up to date on Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways in the Australia News Desk. Launchpad Marzari reports from The Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs where the centerpiece is a fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker.
The new book Latinas in Aviation: Stories of passion, power, and breaking into the aviation industry tells the stories of 22 amazing women. Our three guests are included in that book and they tell us about their aviation accomplishments.
Olga E. Custodio is a Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force Reserves (ret), and a retired American Airlines captain. She was the first Latina to complete U.S. Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training and graduate in the top 5% of her class with a fighter qualification to fly the T-38 as an instructor pilot.
While studying at the University of Puerto Rico, she tried to participate in the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program, but she was denied the opportunity because women were not allowed at that time. But she persisted and went on to become a commissioned military officer, serving in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years and retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. After transitioning to the U.S. Air Force Reserves, Olga became the first Latina commercial airline pilot and later upgraded to Captain, flying for American Airlines. Besides the T-38, Olga flew the T-41, B-727, F-100, B-757, and B-767. Today, Olga is retired with over 11,000 flight hours.
Olga is a STEM advocate and speaks at local schools, universities, corporations, and military base groups, encouraging young women and men to reach for their dreams. Olga is a mentor with the Women in Aviation International, Aviation Explorers, and the School of Aeronautics of the Inter American University in Puerto Rico.
Ana Uribe Ruiz is co-president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Women in Aviation International. She was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador with aviation in her blood. Her father formed the airline Ecuatoriana de Aviacion in the late 1950s that was the flag carrier for the country for many years. This gave her the opportunity to spend time in the cockpit and see the world with a different view.
Ana took up a finance and banking career in the U.S. and married a private pilot, but flying had to wait due to family matters. She eventually started her pilot training in California and became involved with Women of Aviation International Week. Ana is the only private pilot in the Bay Area with a Jefferson Award for Public Service, bringing women into the aviation world.
Ana can often be found talking and presenting in schools and inspiring the future generation of pilots.
Jacqueline S. Ruiz calls herself a visionary social entrepreneur. Born in Mexico City, she moved to the United States at age 14 where she learned English and German. She has created two successful award-winning companies, established two nonprofit organizations, published 16 books, created over 10 products, and held dozens of events around the world in just the past decade.
Jackie is a regular guest on TV and radio including CBS World News, CBS Chicago, WGN-TV, ABC7 News, WGN Radio 720, and has been featured in Forbes Magazine, INC, and others. She is one of the few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States and Jackie believes that “taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory.”
Eat at the Airport
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari talks with Steve Kanatzar from The Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The centerpiece of that establishment is a fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker.
Across the Pond
Pieter Johnson is joined by Matt Bone from the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group which raises funds for the rebuild and return to flight of the sole surviving combat veteran Hawker Typhoon MkIb, RB396.
Australia News Desk
Steve Vischer and Grant McHerron bring news about Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways.
Daedalians – Advocacy for air and space power and honor for those who flew and fly in defense of the United States.
Girls in Aviation Day, September 26, 2020.
“This is the story of those Coast Guard aviators who flew as part of the U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Forces during the Vietnamese Conflict. The men who wrote this virtually unknown chapter of Coast Guard aviation history exemplified the highest traditions of Coast Guard Aviation and the United States Coast Guard.”