SAN ANTONIO – A female pilot participating in the flyover celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19 Amendment Friday is hoping the event encourages women from all backgrounds to keep reaching for the stars.
Lacee Law, a certified flight instructor with Sky Safety Flight School, said she grew the passion for aviation when she was in high school.
“I know you would hear some stories of people saying when they were three or four, they saw a plane and realized that was what they wanted to do all along,” Law said. “Not me,” she laughed. “When I was first interested, I was like 12 or 13. I watched ‘Top Gun’ and was like, ‘Man that was really cool!’ But the spark really happened around junior year of high school. That is when I started reading and researching about Amelia Earhart. I really started looking into the aviation job market. Would there be a job for me when I graduated college. What would I have to do in order to qualify or become a pilot.”
Law said having a role model like Earhart is very critical.
“To me, it is important to have people that girls can see doing the jobs they may be interested in,” Law said. “Just to give them that confidence that, ‘I am capable and can do this. Here is somebody that is like me that is doing it.’”
Law said the flyover is a physical manifestation to her.
“It is a picture of where we are as women,” Law said. “We haven’t always been able to vote or work with airlines or in other job markets in the past. That has changed a lot, I think, for the better. It is a representation that we are on the same level playing field as men.”
The first time Law flew solo was in 2015.
“It was a feeling of exhilaration,” she said. “It was a confidence boost seeing myself work this airplane on my own and then it gives you a strong sense of independence.”
Law said she has endured some obstacles.
“The training, itself, and hitting different areas where you feel like you are not advancing or not getting it and having to repeat the same lessons,” Law said. “That would probably be one of the bigger obstacles I have faced. But it is all about building a support group. The Ninety Nines and the Women in Aviation groups have been great to me. It is a group of women who have been where you are in the past. It is great having people you can talk to as you are struggling in your training. I think support groups are really huge so you don’t get discourage or down on yourself during the training.”
Law said she, herself, has not experienced discrimination.
“It is not uncommon when I fly with students and most of them happen to be male or older than me whether they are male or female,” Law said. “We would land because it is time to get gas and someone would approach the airplane and my student asking if they need gas or something. They say, ‘Oh, she is the instructor,’ and It is always that moment of, ‘Oh really!’ It is more about not being informed than direct discrimination or anything like that. I have had people underestimate me but I take that in stride and understand they are not living in the environment that I am and they may just not know.”
Law joked about her nerves as she thought about the flyover taking place Friday.
“I am honored. I don’t want to screw it up,” she laughed. “So there is a certain amount of pressure where I am like, ‘I don’t want to be that one person that screws it all up.‘ But it is truly and honor, and I just hope, more than me participating in the event, I hope the message of what we are trying to send gets across.”
That message is one of motivation.
“Just giving women, specifically, that little push of encouragement or that little spark at the entrance or whatever it is that kind of gets them motivated and the confidence to go after whatever their dreams are,” Law said. “I will also like to note that it is important to recognize the predecessors who have fought for our opportunities. Respect their fight and what they’ve done for you to have these opportunities. Try to honor them to the best of your ability, work hard and don’t underestimate your hard work and dedication to achieve whatever your goal may be.”