Only 6% of the Pilots in the USA are women, 7% worldwide. That’s a fact that Natalie Fiser Kelley, mother of three boys, pilot and entrepreneur, wants to change. A gender gap that needs to be filled.
Being more than happy that she made it to the License, she just wanted to share her story to inspire other girls to make their way into the cockpit. As a result she founded FlygirlLLC.
A cornerstone of the new FlyGirl brand is $5,000 scholarship being offered exclusively to female pilots through a strategic partner of FlyGirl LLC, Sporty’s Academy, the world-renowned flight school in Batavia, Clermont County, where Kelley earned her first pilot’s license.
We had the chance to get an interview with her, and here is what she said:
Q: How did your Passion for Aviation start?
A: My uncle used to take me flying when I was a kid. His aviation hobby includes flying formation and aerobatics. I loved that! He is a warbird pilot who has been flying for over 50 years. He has always encouraged me to pursue my pilots licensing. We spend lots of time together talking aviation and going to air shows. My father is a commercial pilot. His career was always intriguing to me and seemed very adventurous.
Q: What was the final trigger to make your Pilot’s License?
A: I would have to say, my age. Maybe it was a mid-life crisis type decision. My children are older , self-sufficient, and don’t seem to need me as much. I found myself with more time on my hands and seeking more fulfillment. Earning my pilot’s license jumped to the top of my list of “things to do!”
Q: How did the Idea to ‘fly Girl’ come up?
A: flyGIRL was developed as a way to encourage other women to pursue aviation, as either a hobby or career. While learning to fly, I searched for cute, stylish clothing to wear that announced I was a pilot, so that others could see the possibilities for themselves. After the flyGIRL logo apparel, the formulation of the scholarship was developed in order to be able to financially assist a female interested in aviation. The proceeds from the flyGIRL products directly funds the scholarship. I also decided to work on building a social media “family” of individuals who love aviation or love to support others pursuing their aviation endeavors. And using social media as a platform to show what’s possible for women.
Q: Who was your greatest mentor?
A: That’s tough! I’ve had a lot of individuals that have helped me through my training, taught me things about aviation history, or the opportunities available for a pilot. I’d have to say that my greatest mentor is my Uncle Robert though. He started it all when he’d take me up in his airplane and we would fly all sorts of maneuvers or fly-in to an airport for a pancake breakfast. 🙂
Q: Which is in your eyes a real hero female pilot in aviation history that inspired you?
A: Every female pilot inspires me!
Q: What do you tell young women if they ask you how to overcome their fear if they can make the License?
A: Of course, I tell them that they are absolutely capable and can do it! They must stick to it and not give up, especially on days when they are feeling discouraged. I do believe that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
Q: What are your personal goals for the Future of Aviation?
A: I want more support and encouragement for females that want to pursue aviation in some capacity. My goal is to keep sharing my stories of training, flights and goals in hopes of inspiring others. I also like to hear other females’ stories so that they can be retold for people to learn from and aspire to. It’s also important for me to support the history of aviation. America has a rich aviation history filled with great airplanes, pilots and amazing journeys to share with the younger generations. The airplanes used in wars were crucial for success and everyone needs to understand that and be able to pass that knowledge on.
Q: Last Question we aks everyone in in Interview: What is currently in the Pocket of your Trouser?
A: LOL! Chapstick and a Kleenex!! Two very important facial features that need assistance…Lips and nose! :-).