One hundred and sixty women pilots and their guests met in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 24 to celebrate 40 years of camaraderie and support. The first conference event is our opening reception with drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. You could have heard a pin drop, (except for the laughter) as charter members Beverley Bass and Terry Rinehart presented an entertaining slideshow showcasing the original 21 members. We raised over $14,000 for our scholarship fund as the fun was just beginning.
The next day we held our business meeting and luncheon, followed by dinner and a musical. Thursday, we toured Hoover Dam, roasted on Lake Mead in the 90-degree heat, and went to the Mob Museum. It is always hard to say goodbye when the conference is officially over. Three days is never enough, so a group of us stayed on for side trips to Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. Next year’s conference is being sponsored by Qantas Airlines in Sydney, Australia, and we can’t wait!
In 1978 when ISA was founded, the founders wanted an acronym that somehow symbolized their group that was also used within the aviation community. They chose to use ISA, also an acronym for International Standard Atmosphere with the appendage +21 to acknowledge the original 21 members. (In aviation, ISA+21 would mean that the atmosphere is 21 degrees above standard.)
Today ISA+21 is the world’s largest single donor of advanced flight scholarships for women. Annually, we award at least two aircraft type ratings and thousands of dollars in scholarships to qualified women. We have given away more than $1.2 million to over 200 women whose stated career goal was to be an airline pilot. About half of ISA’s type rating winners have gone on to airline pilot careers.
Our members are active and retired airline pilots. We support active and aspiring pilots with career support and mentoring. Over the last few years we have gathered for “play dates” to attend Come From Away, an incredible Broadway play in which of one of our founding members, Beverley Bass, is a key character. Then, each April or May we meet at one of various locations around the world for our annual conference.
Our goal is to create greater visibility, acceptance and understanding of women airline pilots around the world. Our dues are only $44/year which go to support our website, bookkeeping/tax preparation, and outreach, including a booth at Women in Aviation International’s annual conference where we conduct interviews of our type scholarship candidates. If you meet the membership requirements listed on our website, we would love to have you join us and help us achieve our goals. We invite you to visit http://iswap.org/ to learn more. ACN