Twenty-four La Pietra – Hawaii School for Girls 8th graders graduated from the Pacific Aviation Museum's Flight School for Girls on January 26 in a 'Winging Ceremony' in Hangar 79.
After receiving certificates they were "pinned" by three active duty female Air Force pilots.
In the three-day course, which began on January 24, the students learned about the forces of flight, cargo loading, weather and atmosphere, flight physiology, and flight planning. They toured WW2, Korean War and Vietnam-era craft, donned flight gear, strapped into an ejection seat, trained in combat flight simulation exercises, and operated a riveter.
"I learned how airplanes fly, the things it takes for them to fly, like, hollow wings, how light they are and the shape of the wings, and I also learned about the different monitors in the cockpit pilots use to fly," said Iya Garg '22 after the flight simulation lab.
"When I came here I didn't really think about being a pilot, but it's cool now that I get to learn about it."
On January 25, the girls had a "riveting" experience inside Hangar 79. It was just a few days after Naomi Parker Fraley, the inspiration for the famous World War II "Rosie the Riveter" poster, died at age 96 in Longview, Wash., that they got a chance to find out what it was like to be Rosie.
Pacific Aviation Museum instructor, Nani Edgar, dressed in the same garb Rosie wore in the iconic poster, instructed the girls and offered some historical background that opened their eyes.
Sonja Garcia '22 said, "It was empowering and inspirational to see what women did and how it shaped us to what we are now." Garcia said she was amazed to learn that the WW2 women worked 10-hour shifts handling the powerful riveter.