Thursday, August 16, 2012

Aviation Etched in Memories

Three of four daughters have flying in their DNA
by Ann W.

Since I can remember, I have been flying in airplanes. My father, Stephen C. Richard, owned an L18-56 Lockheed Loadstar for about 20 years. It was built around 1942, originally for the military; then owned by a private corporation for the former Secretary of State, George Shultz. The N96334 World War II passenger transport aircraft is still etched in my memory. My father never let me forget what I said as a child as we flew to Florida, “Dad, Why are the clouds down there? Are we upside down?” To this day, I still marvel and identify with the sound of radial engines overhead. I continue on the tradition of taking our three sons flying so perhaps one day they will be aviators or engineers like their parents or grandparents. My father was proud to have three of his four daughters associated with aircraft; Stephanie Gray, who pilots the MD-80 for American Airlines; Lisa Dudzinski, who was the first pilot of the family; and last but not least, the one who joined the Lockheed Martin team as an engineer.