Local pilots breaking barriers in the world of aviation

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By: Erin Lisch
November 10, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- When most of us think of flying, we think jumbo jets taking us from point A to point B for a price, but more and more people are learning to fly.

One flight school here in Tallahassee is breaking barriers in the aviation world.

Each time Faith Drewry takes control of her plane she joins a select group of pilots here in the United States.

Right now, 600,000 are registered, only 4,000 are women.

Flight instructor Vick Patel said, "There's certainly a small margin of female pilots out there."

In that small club are Faith and fellow pilot Lacey Smith.

When asked about the lack of women in aviation, Faith said,"Most of the studies point to a lack in female role models... so it sounds funny to say but I think there aren't more female pilots because there aren't more female pilots."

That's exactly what they're working towards, opening the Florida Aviation Center in Tallahassee just 4 years ago.

"One of the things that we're trying to do with our school is trying to make it a nurturing place for everyone."

The school is owned by women, but the classes are actually taught by men.

"It's fun working with them, especially since they're bringing in that type of ambition and inspiring younger women," said Patel.

Students are also extremely impressed.

One student at the flight school, Marco Zannier, said, "For them to start from nothing and 4 years after... it's something very remarkable."

After the interview, Faith shows off her paradise. Over 1,000 feet in the sky and with the slightest touch, we travel over Doak Campbell Stadium and all of Downtown Tallahassee.

Into the flight Faith gives me the chance to take the controls, "I could do this every day! You’re convincing one more woman to get into aviation, that's for sure!"

"That's our goal to be role models and show this isn't really that hard," said Faith.

Thumbs up from me, but then it's time for Faith to take us home, safely landing this more-than-memorable flight.

With her a love for flying, Lacey hopes to change a male dominated industry, making strides in aviation for women… so that female pilots are just pilots.

"It would be nice if that became the normal if it were just pilots everywhere as opposed to, 'oh, that's a woman pilot,'" said Lacey.

For these pilots, it’s all in a day’s work.

Faith and Lacey's flight school has just been awarded a spot on the 2016 flight training excellence awards honor roll, less than 10% of schools evaluated earned this recognition.

You can read more about the center and learning to fly, here.

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