Inspiring future female aviators through personal experiences, guided activities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kathy Duran
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Five female instructor pilots from Vance Air Force Base volunteered a full day inspiring the next generation of future female aviators Nov. 5 in Dayton, Ohio.

The instructor pilots taught an all-female 2022 Air Camp event about aviation and shared some of their own personal experiences.

The Team Vance IPs were Maj. Brianna Wurth, Capt. Veronica Morthorpe and 1st Lt. Jordan Mork, 3rd Flying Training Squadron; and Capt. Sarah Osborne and 1st Lt. Jessalyn Cox, 33rd Flying Training Squadron.

Air Camp is held annually and this year a total of 43 female high schoolers from the local area attended.

The mission of Air Camp is to deliver an exciting and challenging hands-on adventure in aviation and aeronautics. Air Camp was designed to inspire students and teachers to learn more about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics while promoting the values of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship.

“We wanted to create a solid program that we could be proud of and would be effective and motivate young people to STEM educations and careers,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dick Reynolds, co-founder and secretary of Air Camp.

The attendees were split into groups where they went through four different modules to prepare them for their 30-minute flight with a certified flying instructor.

During the first module the students learned about flight instructions, instruments and basic flight maneuvers.

In the second module the Vance instructors taught them about ground school. They learned the basics of flight physics, flight controls, stability, navigation skills and planned their flight.

The third module challenged the females with hands-on activities where they were to modify aircraft standards for female pilots. They were to either adjust a flight suit to fit a female body or adjust the rudder or flight pedals with resources available.

The last module was a STEM career exploration discussion panel with Vance and Women in Defense volunteers. The students asked about STEM career possibilities, aviation, aeronautical questions and simply got to know the women with experience in STEM careers.

Unfortunately, due to strong winds the students were unable to end the day with their 30-minute flight. They were given vouchers and welcomed to come back to enjoy their flight another day.

At the end of the day, the students were congratulated by their group leaders and earned a set of flying wings.

It was a good day for all involved. “I can’t think of a better example of just phenomenal support than what we’ve gotten from the 71st Flying Training Wing,” said Reynolds.