With the pandemic sweeping our nation and our world, we wanted to turn our attention to the thing that brings us all here to begin with, our community and our airplanes.
You’ll notice that very little of our issue covers the effects of the coronavirus on aviation, though that remains overwhelmingly the biggest story in the world and in our little aviation niche, too.
When we announced last month that we would be putting together special features dedicated in part to the strength of the people like you and me who fly small planes, the response was enormous. The idea, which resonated strongly with our readers, was not so much to document the effects of the novel coronavirus but to highlight the resilience of the people who fly small planes in the face of that virus. So we wanted to share with you the faces, the stories and the strength (and, okay, the planes) of our readers. We think that you will find them as moving and inspirational as we have. (SCROLL DOWN TO MEET OUR READERS AND READ THEIR STORIES)
Bec Larkin has been a pilot in Australia for 10 years. She hopes to encourage other women to take up aviation as a career.
Her Plane: C172N
Ratings: Instructor Rating
Favorite Plane: Extra 300L
Home Airport: Camden, New South Wales, Australia
Favorite Destination: Moruya Airport
Her Story: “I started flying in 2009 and worked three jobs for years to get my commercial license. In 2017, I got my commercial license and headed up to the Northern Territory to get my first job. I started working as a charter pilot, transporting people between remote communities. After gaining experience for a few years in the territory, I came back to Sydney at the start of the year to complete my Instructor rating to pass on my knowledge and skills. I am also completing aerobatics training in the hope to compete in international aerobatic competitions and become a female role model for future aviators.”
Flying In Pandemic Times: COVID-19 has derailed her career plans, but she’s staying on top of her flying through aerobatics. “I just completed my instructor rating and had been offered a job with a few different schools. After a week holiday (when Coronavirus came to Australia), I came back to Sydney and was told there were no jobs available to start as an instructor. Since then, I’ve found myself with no job prospects as businesses continue to collapse in the industry. I continue to do aerobatic training.”