by Michelle Judice
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Sarah Bailey, a 2021 WAA Bill Weaver Aviation Scholarship recipient, received the Introductory to Flight Award and she has capitalized on this opportunity. As a part of her flight training, she’s accumulated 10 hours and has enjoyed every second. “The funniest thing I’ve experienced at the Academy of Aviation was listening to the ground and tower banter between pilots and learning how to incorporate myself into the rhythm of daily traffic. It takes a keen ear to finally understand the coms but being introduced to it was definitely a fun learning experience,” she recounted.
While many of us can relate to this, what sets her apart is that she clinched two valuable internships as a high school senior, the first at Avports where she shadowed Operations and Airport Managers and earned hands-on experience on the airfield and the Operations Bridge. She also collected statistics which quantified the economic impact ofthe airport on Westchester County.
Sarah's second internship at Million Air White Plains enabled her to shadow Customer Service Representatives, Line Service and Valet where she greeted and assisted customers and built experience in FBO operations from the bottom up. Million Air was impressed with her work ethic and hired her as a ramp agent where she greeted incoming incoming aircraft and prepared departing aircraft, assisted in aircraft movement, placement and storage as a wing walker, fulfilled pilots' service requests and helped wherever needed to support line service. Lauren Rones-Payne, General Manager at Million Air says, "This was the summer unlike no other for us at Million Air HPN! We honestly could not have managed without our amazing ramp agents which included Sarah Bailey. Her energy, positive attitude and can do spirit helped to carry Team HPN through. Sarah will be missed and will always be a part of our Million Air family. We wish her continued success and hope she returns during her holiday break!"
There was still room in Sarah's schedule to fly in various aircraft including a T-1 Jayhawk, Cessna 172, C-17 and Aero L-39 and taxi a Cirrus Vision Jet. She was all smiles even as G Forces were at an all time high during barrel rolls (see video below), Cuban 8s and loops in an Aero L-39. “Each aircraft offers a unique learning experience and environment which I’m grateful to have been a part of. From everyone who has helped me on my journey to having my first real job the aviation industry will forever hold a special place in my heart.” she says.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach is her next stop where she'll study Aeronautical Engineering as a freshman this fall. Good luck Sarah!
Westchester Aviation Association is a non-profit organization.
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