Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Women soar at LebanAir Aviation: Lebanon State Airport (S30), Oregon

The airport was active with flights as LebanAir Aviation hosted a Ladies Day on June 28.

The event featured presentations from female pilots, free plane rides for everyone and helicopter demonstration flights.

Jenny Langmann, a helicopter flight instructor from Hillsboro Aviation, spoke at the event and provided demo flights for $69 dollars.

Langmann said she prefers helicopters to planes because they are able to land anywhere.

On the way from Hillsboro to Lebanon, she stopped to land on a bank on a river.

During demo flights, Langmann landed the chopper on top of a nearby hill.

“I thought it would be like a simulation at Disneyland where you have your feet dangling out,” said Sage Killeman after going on a demo flight. “It was very relaxed. For a second, I thought it would be terrifying.”

Killeman is familiar with small-craft aviation, and she has her fixed-wing pilots license.

“There’s so much interaction with a helicopter,” Killeman said. “With an airplane there’s a lot of sitting back.”

With helicopters, a pilot’s hands never leave the controls, Langmann explained.

Langmann has been flying helicopters for about five years, she said, and was hired about a year ago as a flight instructor.

Langmann also is a member of the Whirly-Girls.

The Whirly-Girls is a support network for pilots that provides scholarships to women for helicopter training, according to its website.

Langmann said there is a network of people in aviation, and attending events such as Ladies Day at the Airport helps expand that network.

Langmann has not faced any gender discrimination, but has heard horror stories from other female pilots dealing with gender bias.

“It’s still a very male-driven industry,” Langmann said.

Evelyn Rackleff Lohr, of Lebanon, spoke about her experiences as pilot. Lohr wrote the “The Beckoning Storm,” about those experiences.

Lohr started flying when she was 36.

“I started here in 1959,” Lohr said. “My life was at this airport. We had fly-ins and pancake breakfasts.”

Lohr started writing the book in 1988, and finished in in 1995.

Lohr had trouble finding a publisher, so she decided to self publish.

“It’s very real; it’s exactly what it’s like to learn to fly,” Lohr said. “I’ve seen lots of terror. I’ve been lost, but I always made it out.”

Lohr plans to release another book next month.

The next event at LebanAir Aviation is LebanAir Day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 12 at the Lebanon State Airport, 1600 W Airway Road; Lebanon, OR 97355.

The event is open to the public. There will be an outhouse flour bombing, an antique car and plane show and a beer garden.

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