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
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.