Growing number of women in aviation

Pam Prdue has been flying for 27 years, starting with pilot training at a flight school in Sanford, Florida.  She was inspired by her father, John, who was a commercial pilot for Delta.

"Growing up, there were other dads who were pilots, but he was one of the few dads who was reaching out to all the young girls saying, 'You should be a pilot, you should be a pilot!." she explains.  

For Pam, the adrenaline rush of being in the cockpit never goes away.

"You're just so excited, because you're about to lift a giant machine off the earth, and there's nothing like it!"

There's also something special about the reaction she gets from passengers as they walk off the plane and realize it was pam who got them to their destination safely.

"I get a lot of high-fives and 'go girl' and 'girl power!, especially from older women, women in the 70s or older."

Pam isn't the only one to get those curious looks.  Laura Spolar is one of only a handful of women to hold that title at United Airlines.  She's also the president of Central Florida Women in Aviation, .
and a founding member of "Chix-Fix" -- the only all female aircraft maintenance technician team.
This group of lady technicians competed against 84 other teams last year and came in 9th overall.

Laura says one of the biggest misconceptions is the job is too physically demanding for a woman.

"Like when you're changing a tire? I mean yeah, the tires are huge, but we have tools that help us with that. I don't know many men who can change a 787 tire by themselves."

Adjusting the wings of today's young people and turning them on to a career in aviation is something both Laura and Pam take seriously.