promotes aviation education
Earhart was first
president of Ninety-Nines Inc.
Helen E. McKinney
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 2011) Since she was
17, Terri Donner has been a member of the Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter
of the Ninety-Nines Inc. For the last 34 years, she has enjoyed her
career in aviation to the fullest extent and is part of a local event
that teaches and supports aviation enthusiasts about airplanes and hot
Donner is a UPS pilot. The Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter to which she belongs
is a chartered chapter of the Ninety-Nines Inc., an International Organization
of Women Pilots. Amelia Earhart was the first president of the Ninety-Nines
Inc. Donner, 51, joined the chapter for the camaraderie with other
women pilots, she said. When she was 21, she won a scholarship
through the organization. Members can apply for scholarships, grants
and awards, which will benefit women, students and licensed pilots in
search of new skills and training.
As a local fundraiser for its scholarship programs, the Ninety-Nines
Inc. will be sponsoring Aerospace Day at Bowman Field in Louisville
on Saturday, March 5. Two sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30
a.m., and from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event is geared toward Girl Scouts,
but the public is also welcome. Cost is $10 per person.
This is the eighth year for Aerospace Day, said Donner, who came up
with the idea for this aviation-themed event. I wanted to use
the event as an outreach program for the Girl Scouts.
The scouts can earn their Junior Aerospace Badges by visiting eight
different stations at Bowman Field. All presenters are women who
are qualified professionals in their career, Donner said. Participants
can tour the control tower, climb aboard a real airplane and meet military
and balloon pilots and aircraft mechanics.
Stations will include topics such as Women Airline Pilots, the History
of Aviation, Hot Air Balloons, How to Get a Flight Instructors License
and information about a career with NASA.
I had originally wanted to do an aviation camp, said Donner,
who lives in Jefferson County, Ky. Her idea evolved into Aerospace Day,
an event she said she enjoys participating in very much.
Donners friend, Terri Sanders, was her connection to the Girl
Scouts to get the organization involved. Scouts come from all
over the state to this, said Sanders. The scouts must research
the different parts of flying, careers, etc.
Bowman Field was chosen as the site to have this event because it
is a general aviation airport and also very historic, Sanders
Established in 1920, Bowman Field is one of the longest, continuously
operating, general aviation airports in the United States. The site
is on 426 acres and as of January 2011, 223 T-hangers were for lease
on the field.
The 1920s were a time of growth for the airport. Airline service to
Louisville began on Aug. 1, 1928, when Continental Airways began airmail
service between Louisville and Cleveland. By 1929, construction had
commenced on the first permanent buildings at Bowman Field: Curtiss
Flying Service, the Administration Building and the Air Corps Hangars.
During the 1937 flood, the field remained dry and thousands of tons
of supplies and medicine were flown in for local relief efforts. During
World War II, Bowman Field was the busiest airport in the country, with
thousands of members of the military calling it a temporary home while
undergoing combat readiness training.
Bowman Field also became home to the U.S. Army Air Force School of flight
surgeons, flight nurses and medical technicians. In 1941 during wartime,
work began on the Standiford Field commercial airport. In 1947, all
Louisville airline operations moved from Bowman Field to Standiford
Bowman Field then assumed a new role as Louisvilles primary general-aviation
airfield. It now serves as a reliever airport for Louisville International
and offers the following services: flight instruction, aircraft leases,
charters and sales, aircraft cleaning and refueling, and aircraft repair
Donner has been a flight instructor at Bowman Field and said she loves
being a member of the Ninety-Nines Inc., because it gives me an
excuse to get together with other women pilots every month from Kentucky
and southern Indiana.
The local chapter meets the second Saturday of every month and members
range in age from 18 to 90, Donner said.
For more information on Aerospace Day,
contact Terri Sanders at (502) 222-0646 or (502) 435-4853. Registration
is required and space is limited.
Back to March 2011 Articles.