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Fri, May 07, 2010

Aero-TV: Julie Clark -- From Pioneer To Inspiration

Julie Clark Blazed A Trail For Many Other Women To Follow

On February 25th through February 27th, 2010, the Women in Aviation International organization held their 21st annual conference; over 3,000 women and men gathered at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort to celebrate the 2010 WAI Conference theme, “Aviation – It’s a Small World.” Developed in 1990, Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women throughout aviation career sectors and interests.

WAI strives to promote public education on historical contributions of women within the aviation industry; the organization’s 8,000+ membership includes a wide-range of industry representatives including astronauts, corporate pilots, maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, air show performers, educators and students. In an effort to optimize these networking opportunities, Women in Aviation, International began annual WAI conferences, holding the first gathering in 1990. As a crucial hub for both career advancement and education, WAI conference attendees partake in general information sessions, seminars, and educational forums.

One of the most notable attendees at WAI2010 was none other than airshow ace, Julie Clark. Clark is a veteran pilot with more than 40 years of flight experience and 30,000 accident-free hours. One of the first women pilots to fly for a major airline, she captained Northwest Airline’s DC-9s and MD-80s. She started her commercial flying career with Hughes Airwest as a 1st Officer on the DC-9 in 1976 and ended it in 2003 as a Northwest Airlines Airbus A320 Captain. Captain Clark is checked out in more than 65 types of aircraft, including W.W.II B-17s and PBY-5 flying boats.

Julie was a civilian instructor at NAS Lemoore, CA., flying the military T-34 trainer for the U. S. Navy. In 1977 she purchased a T-34 unseen for $18,000 at a government surplus sale in Anchorage. After flying 2,900 miles home she began the extensive restoration. Now flying an average of 20 airshows a year in her Beechcraft Mopar T-34 Mentor, she performs an elaborate ballet of grace and skill in the sky. Julie is a beautiful, energetic, all-American inspiration to young and old.



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