“Think of how big this world is and how many different things there are to do and to see. Living a full life is trying to do as much as you can and see as much as you can.” ~ Erin Seidemann
This conversation is with pilot and author Erin Seidemann. Erin and I connected online, probably around the time her book, Postcards from the Sky, came out.
I was intrigued by Erin because I know how rare it is for a woman to be a pilot. Women make up about 5% of all pilots, and that’s been the case since Amelia Earhart’s time.
Interestingly enough, as I was editing this, the History Channel released a photo said to be of Earhart and her navigator. And a new documentary hypothesizes that they were captured by the Japanese when their plane went down in 1937 and that they actually died in Japanese custody.
I think it’s a fascinating theory. It’s sad to think that she lived her final days as a prisoner but it’s gratifying to know that she may not have died in a plane crash.
The thing about this conversation with Erin for me is that flying, actually piloting a small aircraft, is beyond my imagination and interest. I’m afraid of flying in small planes and I do it only because sometimes it’s the only way to get to a destination like Moloka’i or some places in Papua New Guinea. But it doesn’t mean I’m not petrified from the moment I put myself in the seat.
I do things to try to calm myself down but I do maintain some level of fear the entire flight.
I didn’t go up in Erin’s plane when we met in New Orleans although she has offered in the past. After this conversation I likely will take her up on that offer next time I’m in town!
I loved speaking with Erin because her hobby of flying isn’t something that came easy for her. She’s prone to motion sickness and she had some health issues that she refused to let get in her way of getting licensed.
Flying is expensive. And Erin owns her own plane, making it even more expensive. Erin works in order to pay for her love of flying. And she’s OK with that.
In this episode, we talk about the logistics of getting a pilot’s license, the beauty of flying, the logistics of buying a plane and how few women, going back to Amelia Earhart’s time, are pilots.
We also talk about sexism in the industry and how she uses it to motivate herself and doesn’t get angry by comments from male pilots.
This conversation was a topic I knew so little about but Erin makes it seem so attainable. And while getting a pilot’s license and buying a plane are not available to everyone, you can apply her passion for flying to most any hobby and interest and realize that with unwavering determination, it’s possible to pursue your love.
Connect with Erin
Mentioned in this episode
(international organization of women pilots with founding member Amelia Earhart)
Other things you might find interesting
(another international organization of women pilots)
(national group that flies and maintains WWII planes to keep them flying rather than in museums)
(you can look up by airport and listen to live air traffic control transmissions)
by Michelee Cabot
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