Sunday, September 24, 2017

Confidence is key for women in aviation: Sandpoint Airport (KSZT), Bonner County, Idaho

A group of aviators and aspiring aviators pose for the camera at the Sandpoint Airport Thursday. From left, Lacey Barlow, Christina Tindle, Anastasia Overman, Danielle Morales, Makinzie Plocher, Mary Rantala and Arianna Terry. 

SANDPOINT — The Golden Age of Aviation was the foundation for pilots today, particularly for women.

There were a lot of "firsts," said licensed counselor and aviator Christina Tindle. Everyone was breaking records, there were the first female pilots and the first organization of female pilots.

"Everything was just wonderful then," Tindle said during an all ladies luncheon on Thursday at the Sandpoint Airport.

There are a lot of "naysayers" when it comes to aviation today, but back then, the entire country supported it, she said.

Tindle was in town from Hailey, Idaho, this week to speak to local aviators and aspiring aviators on "why women excel in the cockpit." She said it was so well attended by men and women alike, it turned into a presentation on how "people" excel in the cockpit.

"It was a really cool presentation," said Mary Rantala, a 17-year-old Priest River High School student who attended Wednesday's presentation as well as Thursday's lunch.

Rantala is in the North Idaho High School Aerospace program's ACES Aviation Workshop this year as part of her senior project. The ACES group just started a new project, a 1945 Taylorcraft, which she will be helping with this year. She enlisted in the United States Air Force as a mechanic, so the project correlates perfectly with her career goals.

Arianna Terry, a 15-year-old Sandpoint High School student, is just starting out in aviation with NIHSA and will be working toward a pilot's license. She also attended both the lunch and Wednesday's meeting. She said she tends to be "very" hard on herself, and hearing Tindle speak about how you have to believe in yourself to succeed was inspiring.

"It was really good," Terry said. "Seeing the psychology side of things definitely helped."

In the summer, Tindle hosts Women Wise Awesome Adventures, where she provides coaching, training and adventures for women pilots to boost passion, competence, and confidence. During Thurday's lunch, Tindle covered topics from the Powder Puff Derby of 1929, to how compassion and confidence are keys for success.

The Powder Puff Derby was the first women's race with 19 competitors, including Amelia Earhart. One woman died, and there was a lot of sabotage, Tindle said. But in the end, they all came together and said, "all for one and one for all."

"They had a ball, and they stuck together," Tindle said.

The surviving pilots, along with about 80 other female pilots, got together afterward and, whereas there was 99 of them, the international organization of women pilots, the Ninety-Nines, was created.

People have said women shouldn't fly because it is too dangerous, Tindle said. Today, she said, roughly 6 percent of pilots are females — about 23,800 in the country.

"That's it," Tindle said. "What's wrong with that picture?"

According to developmental psychologists, Tindle said, part of the problem is math and science are not encouraged as much in young women. There is a bias, or double-standard. Also, she said, some women struggle with confidence more than men. That doesn't mean women have less confidence than men, it just means men don't talk about it as much.

There is a difference between "success confidence" and "compassion confidence," Tindle said. Success confidence is what people are trained with to achieve a goal and get things done, but eventually, people tend to develop a bit of arrogance. It is "highly" coordinated with narcissism, she said.

Compassion confidence on the other hand, can lead to the same level of confidence, but with an entirely different feel, she said. And compassion confidence has no correlation to narcissism. Women have the edge over men when it comes to compassion, because they learn faster, Tindle said.

"Aviation, to me, is just a great thing for self-esteem and confidence building," Tindle said. "... Once you have confidence, you can do anything."

Original article  ➤

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