Flying Lessons

 I am certain we were the youngest female identical twins who were private pilots at the age of 17. 

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I started taking flying lessons, along with my identical twin sister, at the age of 14. This in itself resulted in a number of “firsts.” You can get your private pilot’s certificate at the age of 17. So on our 17th birthday, we both did our “check rides.” I don’t know if we were the youngest private pilots on that day because I know of other 17-year-olds who did the same thing, but I am certain we were the youngest female identical twins who were private pilots at the age of 17. 

Ten years later I got hired as a First Officer (some may know of it as a co-pilot) for a small regional airline. The chief pilot was a woman, and I remember talking to her about how I was pregnant and how I felt sick all the time. There were four other female pilots at that airline at the time, but she said I was the first one to get pregnant. So she admitted that they had never dealt with morning sickness in a pilot. Before I realized that I was going to suffer from morning sickness, I had flown a trip where we had to do a holding pattern. This involves doing a racetrack pattern — over and over again. When I told my captain at the time that I was hoping to get out of the holding pattern soon because I was suffering from morning sickness he said, “Oh great. My wife is pregnant, and all I do is watch her puke. Now I get to fly a four-day trip with you! I thought I was going to get a break from that.” Fortunately, he was joking and even carried my bags because I was so exhausted.   

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