Hi All. Yes, I share the same name as the legendary Amelia Earhart, and no, we’re not related. However, we do have a few things in common. An adventurous spirit, a passion for flight and the desire to fly around the world.
By recreating and completing Amelia Mary Earhart’s flight around the world in the summer of last year, I developed an even deeper connection to my namesake and hopefully encouraged the world to pursue their own adventures. As president of the Fly With Amelia Foundation, I continue that work by providing grants and flight training scholarships to high school aged girls.
My newest passion project involves working with XTI Aircraft Company to develop the TriFan 600, the world’s first commercially certified vertical takeoff airplane that aims to provide door-to-door travel at the comparable to the speed, range and comfort of a business jet. XTI is also one of the first companies to run an equity crowdfunding campaign so that anyone has the chance to be a part of it. Learn more about this project and the TriFan 600 at www.xtiaircraft.com.
Here’s proof that it’s me: http://i.imgur.com/v0mAlVl.jpg
Now, Ask Me Anything!
If you had a different name do you think you’d be doing something else?
100% yes. I am SO lucky my parents gave me this name. I used to hate it but honestly, it has set me on this course of incredible adventure and aviation opportunity. That’s why I run my foundation- to help girls that want to fly get the same chances I get.
Your parents must have given you that name on purpose. Why? Did they have a particular interest in aviation and Amelia Mary Earhart and her place in history, or was that something you developed on your own?
They had the same last name, same spelling and honestly, I think they thought it would set me a part. She’s been a great role model for me growing up and while I used to hate the name as a kid, it’s something I would never change.
Why did you leave 9news? You were the only reason I watched :(. I am sure you wanted to do more but miss ya!
I had this calling to fly around the world! It was so strong that I quit the day job to risk a bigger outcome. Thankfully, I had tons of support (mentors with great advice) and it all worked out.
Propellers or jet engines and why?
Props for sure… but I reserve the right to change my mind at anytime. 😉
I’m a high school girl trying to get my pilots license and I have very little money to put into it, do you have any advice for me?
There are so many resources and so FEW that apply for scholarships… check this out https://www.wai.org/education/scholarships.cfm and email me if you need help.
On a different note, I know your passion and namesake are all about flying… I have enjoyed your posts since finding your page. But what about your personal life? Who do you do for fun, hobbies, extracurricular activities? Significant others that you spend time with?
I love being out in the sunshine! My car currently holds a kayak, my mountain bike, my tango shoes, golf clubs, flight bag and who knows what else. Living in Colorado is the best. Wish I could see Mom and Dad more, but they visit a lot too.
What’s the worst name joke you’ve ever gotten? And what was your response?
They are so cheesy I don’t even want to repeat…
“I found you!”
“Amelia should just fly us there”
and on and on 😉
I just received my PPL three weeks ago and there is nothing more that is love to do than fly around the world! How did you do it? How did you finance something like that? Is there something I can do to be able to achieve this?
Absolutely! The flight around the world took over 2 years to plan and I had incredible support from sponsors like Pilatus, Honeywell Aerospace and Jeppesen… I started a foundation to help young women learn to fly and that was the best part of the process. I’d be happy to do into further detail outside of the AMA.
How’s traffic looking on I-25 for the afternoon commute?
That brings back some memories… a little northbound congestion through the bridges, a crash SB 225 at Parker 😉
What do you think really happened to Amelia Earhart?
It is so hard to go with one theory or another. I watch all the teams that are out there looking for AE and let them do the research. I figure, I will focus on her life and legacy and support the missions in any way I can.
Did you feel any pressure under the name that you have or was this something you always wanted to do?
Absolutely I do. Now, I know who I am and what I want to do in aviation, but growing up I always felt like I had to do something big. It was freeing to complete the flight around the world, now I want to help others find their place in aviation.
With TV, flying, some modeling and the spokesperson work you’ve done your image is everything. How hard is it to control and how do you balance that in your every day life?
I am super lucky that my image is of a happy, healthy, active girl who by no means needs to look perfect at all times. My favorite memories are when I have been exhausted, dirty, and tired with new stories to tell. That’s when people look really beautiful, in my opinion.
Did you run into any issues on your trip around the world? Technical or non technical?
Weather was a major issue to watch. Thunderstorms with limited fuel quantities was the biggest concern. I studied climate data from the last 100 years to determine the best time of year and specific dates to go.
Where’s the toughest place you’ve landed and why?
Papua New Guinea… hands down. It was a whole different world in terms of communication, transportation, fuel. When I landed in Lae we were accused of landing at the wrong airport, which was not the case at all.
I noticed you recently became a commercial pilot. Congratulations. What are your plans for continued training? Flight instructor? Multi-engine?
Thanks! That was a fun rating. Yes, I’d like to instruct, probably later on in life. Def multi-engine… I have a thing for the King Air
What’s the highest you’ve ever been?
When I flew around the world, I cruised at an average altitude of 27,000 feet.
It really is amazing to see how many inappropriate meesages you get on your social media,(I’m scared to think of some of the private messages) how do you put up with it and not want to just explode on them?
Yeah, it gets old. I really appreciate how polite everyone here has been. Honestly, I tune it out and know that the person on the other end only gets satisfaction if I were to respond.
At what age did you begin to fly?
Which has been your favorite aircraft to fly?
My fav is the PC-12 because of the trip, but I also love the ole 182 RG because I just got my commercial in it.
How many sunsets/sunrises did you see?
What does your ideal breakfast consist of?
I am about 90% paleo these days so I do a mix of grilled veggies and a poached egg.
Do you think you would ever return to 9news as a reporter?
At this point, I am all about aviation projects… plus I don’t miss getting up for the AM show. I do however, miss all my buddies… especially Danielle Grant!
We were listening to the Oakland ATC when you came in. Can you describe how that felt as you were completing the trip?
You were??? That’s awesome. I was the most alive I have ever felt. A little sad because it was over, but also super connected to the bigger purpose of the flight, to honor my namesake and promote general aviation. That last leg, I was in this undeniable state of flow. Unforgettable.
How’s your book coming? Looking forward to reading it when it comes out.
Thank you! It’s cranking along, talking with publishers now and working more of the content into my speeches.
How much of the flying did you do on the circumnavigation? How did you devide the work load between you and your crew?
My co-pilot was the awesome Shane Jordan. I was PIC on the flight and we divided up communication, entering flight plans, etc. The amount of work was absolutely daunting (and SO MUCH FUN)
What is the first step to learning about flying, where should I go and what kind of resources should I start with?
Call you local flight school and schedule a discovery flight. This is the best way to see if you might enjoy the process. The instructor will teach you how to pre-flight the airplane, taxi the aircraft, usually do an assisted take-off and then give you flight controls in the practice area to do maneuvers. Let us know how it goes!
There’s plenty of people in the online aviation community that downplay your achievements, citing you’ve simply enjoyed easy success because you’re an attractive woman. Some cite similarities to Gulfstream Girl that got her 15 minutes of fame then ended up in a huge scandal. (You’ve remained scandal free, so far) At any rate, what’s your response to the naysayers/doubters? (don’t shoot the messenger)
1) The airplane doesn’t know what I look like. Skill and understanding of my aircraft are the two things I take the most pride in. 2) If everyone was cheering me on, it would be boring. 3) I know who I am and what kind of pilot I have become and that’s what keeps me flying. It’s fun doing what others think can’t or shouldn’t be done.
What plane would you love to fly the most that you have not flown?
Oooh good question. I have been super lucky to have been able to fly a lot of aircraft, but I would have to go with the P-51 Mustang.
This may be ignorant, but what did you do with your “downtime” in the air while flying around the world? If there is downtime.
Wake up at 4am, fly 7-10 hours per day, go through multiple time zones (Eastbound), go through customs (up to 5 hours!), fuel, secure aircraft, find the hotel, eat something that wouldn’t make us sick, social media posts, collapse, do it again in the morning. 😉
You get to fly around the world again with anyone as your copilot. Who would you choose? If your only options were John Travolta or Dennis Quaid, who would choose then?
Ha! Tim Ferriss is choice #1…
I’d go with John 😉
Was the flight lonely or boring at times? What was the most beautiful memory you have of the flight?
It was a beautiful solitude, like nothing else I have ever imagined. Being alone (Shane, my co-pilot and I) over the ocean was this incredibly peaceful, yet dangerous situation. If our only engine were to fail, we would have gone down.
The most beautiful memory I have is what I like to call the impossible colors on the horizon. Where blue, yellow, red, purple, all melt into one another. Good question. Thank you.
What’s the funniest/strangest thing that’s happened concerning your name being similar to the “original” Amelia Earhart?
Where do I begin… the best is when I am with a group of people and it comes up in conversation and one person in the group doesn’t know who the first Amelia Earhart was- awkward…
I have been asked, “Why does your name sound so familiar?”
Have you ever had any scary experiences or mishaps while flying?
Electrical failure, comms failure, but never an engine out or anything too serious. So much of our training as pilots goes toward emergency procedures.
Do you think obtaining a glider pilot rating is a good first step before transitioning into powered flight/instruction? I’ve heard that glider pilots gain great “stick” skills.
To be honest, I have never gone up in a glider. The thought of no engine scares me, but what you said is also what I have always heard. You’ve also got a great understanding of the weather after flying gliders.
Why just girls? Do you provide flight training scholarships for boys? I realize that Amelia Earhart was female, but many men (me included) idolized her as a child. Why or why not extend the scholarship(s) for children of all genders?
I am actually working to provide scholarships for young men as well. In the works!
How were you able to acquire your flight ratings, circumnavigate the globe, and other adventures and remain financially solvent?
I worked in TV before my world flight and maintained several other jobs in the process. I am a professional speaker and consultant.
Do you think it’s harder being a female pilot than a male pilot?
The plane doesn’t know if you are a man or a woman, so it just depends on how hard you are willing to work to be skilled at piloting. Same brain power, different strengths and weaknesses but it’s all up to the individual.
Now that you’ve flown around the world and earned your commercial certificate what’s your next personal aviation goal?
Help get the TriFan600 up and flying so we can see this amazing tech come to life! Also, my instructor rating, a little down the line.
CFI someday, but mostly flying for fun and helping others get into aviation.
Of all the planes you’ve gotten to fly, what was your favorite? Do you prefer glass panel or steam gauges?
All time fav is the PC-12 but I am also a huge fan of the Extra 330, the Cessna 195 and the P-51. It all depends, there is so much beauty in both applications… we have come a long way, but we can’t forget where we came from.
What’s an average day in your life consist of?
I am a super early riser, I either do yoga or go to the gym, work on my book, consulting projects, craft new speech topics and do a lot of social media. I have a pup that is here with me now… in fact he was Reddit famous for a day!
What do you feel is the best way to get people involved in General Aviation?
Fly as much as you possibly can, get your friends to take that very first discovery flight and never stop posting pics and sharing links to flight schools, scholarships and pilot resources.
I’ve got a PPL but I’ve never flown outside of the US (except for the bahamas, but that doesnt count). What differences in general aviation stood out to you flying all over the world? What did you like/dislike about the flying in remote places?
Communication was the absolute hardest… planning for overflight permits, landing permits, currency, safe hotels, there are so many differences, but it was when I felt the most alive! Everything was new. Travel as much and as far as you possibly can!
How does it feel when you google yourself?