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OBAP South Florida President Dr. Sheila Chamberlain and Silver Airways’ Pilot Julie Wang Among SAFEE Flight Expo Awardees as Pioneering Women Aviators of South Florida

May 8, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 8, 2019--Operation SAFEE Flight (Showcasing Aviation for Empowering Education), whose goal is to introduce as many youth, young adults and members of our community to the huge impact that aviation has in South Florida, honored inspiring South Florida women aviation pioneers at the recent South Florida Air Expo, including:

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SAFEE Flight Expo Awardees as Pioneering Women Aviators of South Florida: Captain Maria Ziadie-Haddad (747 Captain Atlas Air), Captain Julie Wang (Silver Airways), Dr. Sheila Chamberlain (Retired U.S. Army) (Photo: Business Wire)

  • Dr. Sheila L. Chamberlain – First U.S. Army African American Woman Combat Intelligence Aviator and President of OBAP South Florida
  • Captain Julie Wang of Silver Airways – First Asian Woman to Fly a Global Circumnavigation
  • Captain Maria Ziadie Haddad of Atlas Air – First Commercial Female Pilot Hired by Air Jamaica
  • Lieutenant Ronnie Russell of U.S. Coast Guard – First African American Awarded Coast Guard Air Medal for Operational Response to Hurricane Harvey

The South Florida Air Expo is a free family fun day that took place at Signature Flight Support at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on Saturday, April 27, 2019, showcasing the many exciting opportunities of flying in South Florida, including planes, simulators, displays and discovery flights with certified flight instructors, as well as briefings by pilots, aviation enthusiasts, air traffic controllers, flight schools, technicians and other members of the aviation industry.

“Our motto for what SAFEE is striving to accomplish is to prepare our youth to launch into skies that have no limits,” said SAFEE Flight Founder and Director Darrell Roberts. “This was our 8 th annual SFLA Aviation Expo, and our plan is to encourage youth to be inspired by these great women aviators and also understand that aviation offers them career opportunities that truly have no limits. Industry partners have joined with SAFEE to make it possible for the youth to fulfill their future goals.”

“In the skies and on the ground, there is no limit to the possibilities and opportunities available to women in aviation,” said Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum. “It is truly an honor for us to have a pilot of Julie’s caliber flying for Silver Airways and inspiring future generations of women to pursue careers in aviation. Julie’s passion for flying and her achievements are a tremendous asset to our flight operations team, and she is an excellent flight instructor and leader for the Silver Airways team and our customers.”

The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) had the opportunity to chat with the four women aviators recognized by SAFEE Flight about what sparked their interest in aviation, their achievements and advice they have for future female aviators.

Dr. Sheila L. Chamberlain – First U.S. Army African American Woman Combat Intelligence Aviator and President of OBAP South Florida

Her Inspiration:

Dr. Chamberlain’s father was an Army Combat Engineer, serving two wars and five deployments. With her mother keeping the family together, Dr. Chamberlain learned “selfless service.”

As a relative of a member of the Original Tuskegee Airmen, LTC (USAF-Ret) Luke Weathers, “flying came naturally.”

“My parents always told me I could do and be anything. The Universe is infinity!”

Why she pioneered:

Inspired by Bessie Coleman, Dr. Chamberlain, became “a Mentee of Willa Brown Chappell, who was the First African American (AA) Women US Licensed Pilot, Also First AA Woman Pilot with Civil Air Patrol and First AA Woman to run for U.S. Congress.”

Advice to future female aviators:

“Follow your dreams! Never give up on ANYTHING! Don’t limit your possibilities or opportunities.”

“Stay Inspired. Fly all you can!”

Captain Julie Wang of Silver Airways – First Chinese Pilot to Circumnavigate the Globe

Her Inspiration:

“There was no ending to my imagining the unlimited universe.”

Why she pioneered:

“I felt deeply confident that I would make it, whatever happened along the way.”

“Remove any doubt that the pilot is responsible for the outcome – whether it be success or failure – and I was ready for that responsibility.”

“I stress development of pilot-in-command attitude in my students, which is to say the attitude that they are the ones responsible for the safe conduct of the flight, with all the skills and judgment to ensure the safe completion of the mission.”

Advice to future female aviators:

“Go for it. Recognize your own power.”

“This is a great time for women in aviation.”

“Banish the negative habit of blaming external factors and just forge ahead.”

Captain Maria Ziadie Haddad – First Commercial Female Pilot Hired by Air Jamaica, Atlas Air 747 Captain

Her Inspiration:

She went on a discovery flight. “My mother said I always was – an aviator.”

Why she pioneered:

Mrs. Earsly C. Taylor Barnett (Mrs. B) was a mentor and inspiration. “So in essence, she, along with women breaking barriers in aviation worldwide, was my example to follow. It was natural that I should follow them and teach.”

Advice to future female aviators:

“Check out your options in aviation and aerospace. Maintain your focus and determination. Complete your higher education. Consider a mentor/support group/association like the Florida Goldcoast Ninety-Nines AOPA, Women in Aviation, OBAP , etc. If you have the right attitude and aptitude for flying you will succeed.”

“Hang in there! Believe!”

Lt. Ronnie Russell – First African American Awarded Coast Guard Air Medal for Operational Response to Hurricane Harvey

Her Inspiration:

“I loved traveling and the feeling of flying in a plane. Her uncle told her she “could be the one flying the plane.”

Why she pioneered:

“I simply wanted to help and was at the time just doing my job.”

Advice to future female aviators:

“Never give up. It takes endurance and stamina in believing that this is the path you are meant to be on.”

“Don’t quit. The journey will all be worth it.”

About Operation SAFEE (Showcasing Aviation For Empowering Education) Flight South Florida Air Expo

Operation SAFEE Flight’s South Florida Air Expo is a free family fun day that took place at Signature Flight Support at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport on Saturday, April 27, 2019, showcasing the many exciting opportunities of flying in South Florida, including planes, simulators, displays and discovery flights with certified flight instructors, as well as briefings by pilots, aviation enthusiasts, air traffic controllers, flight schools, technicians and other members of the aviation industry. Operation SAFEE Flight’s South Florida Air Expo, camps and academies are all part of SAFEE’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) outreach programs coordinated by the FAA, Miami-Dade and Broward schools, colleges, universities and local aviation and aerospace industries and organizations. SAFEE’s goal is to introduce as many youth, young adults and members of our community to the huge impact that aviation has in South Florida.

About Silver Airways

Silver Airways operates the most routes within Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas from its hubs in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Tampa, and also flies between Boston and Bar Harbor, Maine. Silver is the official airline of the Minor League Baseball team Daytona Tortugas and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. In addition, Silver owns and cooperatively operates Seaborne Airlines with flights in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Silver is a codeshare partner with United, JetBlue and Avianca, and has interline agreements with American, Delta, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, Azul and Emirates. Members of United’s MileagePlus® and JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty programs can also earn frequent flyer awards for travel throughout Silver’s network. Silver operates a fleet of highly-reliable Saab 340 aircraft and is also currently renewing and expanding its fleet with up to 50 new eco-friendly ATR-600s. Silver is honored to be the North American launch customer for the all new, redesigned ATR-600 offering best-in-class quiet cabins, premium leather seats with more legroom, and spacious overhead bins that accommodate full-size, carry-on roller bags. Silver is owned by affiliates of Philadelphia-based investment firm Versa Capital Management, LLC. To learn more about Silver’s refined passenger experience, visit www.silverairways.com/destinations/atr42.

About Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) South Florida Chapter

Founded in 1976, OBAP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of minorities in all aviation and aerospace careers. The robust, and diverse, organization is on a mission to inspire excellence, Support, Transform, Educate and Mentor members and youth with opportunities in the aerospace industry including scholarships, career guidance, youth-focused programming, flight training and more. OBAP’s South Florida chapter works to advance the organization’s mission through strategic partnerships and invaluable community involvement. For more information visit www.obap.org.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190508005694/en/

CONTACT: Media Contact:

Misty Stoller

954-292-8169

mediarelations@silverairways.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA FLORIDA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: WOMEN TRANSPORT AIR TRAVEL TRANSPORTATION CONSUMER

SOURCE: Silver Airways

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 05/08/2019 01:29 PM/DISC: 05/08/2019 01:28 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190508005694/en