By Carol Fiore
I have always looked up—at clouds, at birds, at airplanes. I climb to the tops of hills and hotels and relish the feeling of being high, embracing the world below. As a child, my most prized possession was a cheap, vinyl bag with the words Pan Am emblazoned on the side—a reminder of an adventure in the sky.
When I was 13, I saw a documentary about Amelia Earhart. While everyone else was enthralled with the mystery surrounding her disappearance, I was drawn to her freckles, and her quick smile, and her eyes that screamed, “Flying is the most amazing thing you could ever do.” That was the day I began my journey to the sky.
I was determined to become a pilot.
Along the way there were many obstacles—beginning with my parents. “Be a stewardess,” they advised. “That’s a proper career for a girl.” When I persisted in reading aviation books and “wasting” my money on airplane models, my mother became nasty. “Only rich kids fly airplanes.”