Flying Wild Alaska star Ariel Tweto gets behind Girls With Wings

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Ariel Tweto, rising pilot for Era Alaska and star of Discovery Channel's Flying Wild Alaska, is making an effort to bring flying to girls.

When Ariel Tweto first heard of Girls With Wings, she immediately knew the impact the Cleveland, Ohio, based non-profit group could have on young women in her home state of Alaska.

"Girls With Wings can really break the ice to allow girls to pursue their dreams," Tweto said during a telephone interview, in a PRWEB release. And by break the ice, she means it.

Tweto is an energetic student pilot featured in the upcoming third season of Discovery Channels' Flying Wild Alaska, which airs each Friday at 10:00pm ET/PT. Tweto and Era Alaska bush pilot, Sarah Fraher, are both familiar with the treacherous terrain associated with Alaska's unforgiving landscape. Despite their fearless flying, both women embrace the importance of serving as role models for future female aviators.

”I think it’s important for women to fly,” Tweto added. “If what Sarah and I are doing can provide a little glimmer of hope to the people of these villages, that’s just really inspiring for me personally.”

The Girls With Wings organization was founded by another female pilot, Lynda Meeks, who was an Army helicopter pilot and current commercial pilot and flight instructor. The goal of Girls With Wings is to use women in aviation to inspire girls to achieve their full potential by understanding that anything is possible through hard work, commitment to education, and a tireless pursuit of personal achievement.

Fraher and her fellow Era Alaska pilots will help hand deliver 50 Penelope Pilot and her First Day as Captain books, written by Meeks, to remote villages across Alaska later this fall. The books were donated by Jones Dykstra & Associates, Inc., a digital forensics, cybercrime investigation, e-discovery, and expert witness company based in Columbia, MD.

"It is my dream that this is just the tip of the iceberg in bringing some attention and inspiration to the remote villages ERA Airlines serves," said Keith Jones, Senior Partner, Jones Dykstra & Associates, Inc. "As both a pilot and father of two daughters, I was inspired by the message Girls With Wings sent to my daughters. As a fan of the Flying Wild Alaska show, I felt it was important to get the Penelope Pilot book into the hands of future aviators. Sarah (Fraher) originally brought up the idea to me and our company was able to make the donation a reality." Jones Dykstra & Associates also donated the funds needed to deliver the books to Alaska to prep them for further distribution.

"The Penelope Pilot book is more than just a book for girls about a female pilot," said Meeks, who wrote the book to find another way to reach out to the younger generation with her message. "It's meant to show the teamwork and responsibilities involved in being a pilot. Yes, it features a female pilot, helping to show everyone that this is a job that women can do just as well as men.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, only 6% of all commercial pilots are female. Meeks and the Girls With Wings organization are doing everything they can to change that number.

"I know the combined efforts of Sarah, Ariel, Girls With Wings, along with the generosity of companies like Jones Dykstra & Associate and Era Alaska, can only do so much," Meeks said. "But if we can use this book to change the future prospects for even one young girl or boy, wherever they are - in Alaska or Maryland - then we're making a difference."

”Girls With Wings is wonderful at promoting women in aviation,” Sarah Fraher said in a phone interview with Girls With Wings from Los Angeles. “This organization inspires girls across the country to explore a career in a mostly male dominated industry."

UPDATE: 'This is actually pretty serious' Ariel observes of her pilot training

Image: Discovery Channel

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