My first air show was the Blue Angels on Pensacola Beach in 1994. At the start of the show, a little red plane took off into the sky. A female pilot, it was announced. Being young and stereotyping my own gender, I really didn’t expect much. She cruised and puttered boringly along for several minutes. But then, suddenly, without warning, something great happened. The plane starting turning and flipping and swooping and diving. She climbed, climbed, climbed, then stalled and dropped into these dizzying loops and circles, spiraling down, down, down. Just before it seemed there was no way the plane could do anything other than crash into the sea, she brought it back to life and climbed back up into the great blue skies above.

I was hooked.

And a dream was born.



Desiree Kocis is a private pilot out of Hanscom Field, MA (KBED). She is Secretary of the Eastern New England Chapter of the Ninety-Nines, volunteer Flight Coordinator for Above the Clouds, and a freelance aviation writer, with publications in AOPA Flight Training and Plane & Pilot magazines.