1. What initially sparked your interest in flying?

I’ve wanted to learn to fly since I can remember! My father was a military pilot and is a recently retired commercial pilot. His career always seemed interesting and exciting as he traveled all over the world. I would say my real interest came from my uncle, however, because he often took me flying in his single-engine plane. He is an aerobatic pilot and would perform all kinds of maneuvers with me. I loved doing something so exhilarating and uncommon in our small town!

Natalie Kelley2. What is it about flying that you find so rewarding and fun?

It’s everything I love: challenge, adventure, freedom. You’re constantly learning new things. You can travel to new places. You can decide where you go, and when you go.

3. Why do you think there aren’t more women in aviation?

I think that’s because it’s historically been portrayed as a man’s job or hobby, from the beginning of aviation. Most women were traditionally taking care of the affairs at home. Men went to work and to war. If we’re speaking of an aviation hobby, women rarely have had the means or wherewithal to claim such an expensive hobby for herself. There’s been some progress over time but women are commonly riddled with guilt when it comes to claiming a personal interest that may be costly or take extended time away from their relationships or family.

4. Tell us about the Fly Girl scholarship program?

I created the scholarship with the hope that by removing some of the financial strain, I could enable women the ability to pursue the joys of aviation. A local applicant is preferable so that I can offer advice, guidance or words of encouragement. Being a female student in flight school, surrounded by men, is intimidating. I have found that women are short on confidence in a male dominated field. So, I always want to be an available advocate and cheerleader! Women encouraging other women is the BEST kind of motivation.

5. Why did you decide to offer apparel, and what can we expect from Fly Girl as you grow?

I wanted to be a “visual” advertisement for female pilots and the opportunities for women in aviation. It’s been difficult finding stylish, aviation themed clothing for women so I decided to create a logo that can be used on apparel and accessories. The logo coincides with the flyGIRL social community reach, the scholarship and the message of supporting women. Our flyGIRL product proceeds directly fund future scholarships. I plan to continue to offer apparel and expand the product line so that others will be proud to show their support for women in aviation and women pursuing their dreams. I am working on building the flyGIRL YouTube library to include some informative and entertaining videos. The growth of the flyGIRL social media community is extremely important to me. It has been profound for me, personally. It is encouraging to connect with others involved in aviation and who have found it so rewarding, as well. My hope is that with the growth of the flyGIRL brand, the scholarship offerings will benefit and expand as well.

Fly Girl scholarship6. What’s your advice for women who are thinking about learning to fly, but aren’t sure?

Go for it! Find a way! Once you start, it only gets better and more rewarding as you build your time. My biggest regret is waiting so long to begin.

7. Favorite flight so far?

My favorite flight was to New Orleans to visit a friend. I picked up my cousin in Tennessee, who had never flown in a single-engine plane. Everything about it was significant: Planning the flight to new airports, taking my cousin to a city she’d never been to, seeing a long time friend, sharing the experience. My knowledge and love for general aviation was extremely gratifying!!

 

 

To see the complete collection of FlyGirl shirts, hats, and accessories, SHOP HERE>>

 

Follow Natalie’s adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or on her YouTube channel.