For most people, the love of aviation is hereditary, being passed down through generations of aviators. That leaves the rest of us gazing into the sky with both amazement and wonder; however, without the hereditary connection, it will most likely go no further. My experience is the latter.

I, like many of you, was bitten early by the bug to fly. Even as a little girl, I was always fascinated with flight. I still remember my father taking me down to the outer fence of the airport to watch the planes take off and land. This fascination would continue to burn inside me throughout my early years.

As a young adult living in the US, I would often return to my ancestral homeland of Puerto Rico. On one particular visit, I met an Aerial Photographer who took me up for a flight around the island!

This sparked the fascination the little girl inside of me was holding onto for all those years.

From the moment the wheels left the runway, I knew I was born to fly! That realization led me to ask the question: how would I get there?

My first flight in a small plane. (Photo Courtesy of the Author)
My first flight in a small plane. (Photo Courtesy of the Author)

Discovery Flight

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In 2013, I attended a “Women in Aviation” event in Titusville, Florida.   At this event I was able to go on an actual discovery flight in a Powered Glider and the experience was incredible! At one moment during the flight, the pilot of the glider told me to take the stick. As I was cautiously clenching the controls, I remember him telling me, “See, It’s very easy!”

As we continued to soar through the air, I knew I was not to stop until I earned my certificate and had the right to call myself a pilot.  Shortly after my discovery flight, I started my pilot training. I earned my wings later that year, but that was only the beginning.

Throughout my training, I knew I wanted to do something special in aviation. I would always be grateful to that aerial photographer and the instructor pilot in that glider! They were the ones who kick-started my future in aviation.   I want to give that same opportunity to other “fascination holders” out there.

LightSport Girl

I want to pay the opportunity forward. With this basic idea in mind, I started LightSport Girl.  My vision for LightSport Girl is to open a doorway into aviation for those who may not ever be presented the opportunity. For many, the idea of flying is limited solely to commercial travel.

Lightsport Girl Discovery flight out of Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), Florida.
Lightsport Girl Discovery flight out of Orlando Executive Airport (KORL), Florida. (Photo Courtesy of the Author)

In this day and age, not only do most people never get to experience something as extraordinary as flying, but many don’t know that it is actually an option for them. Whether it is to pursue a career or just for fun, it is my dream and passion to open as many minds to the possibility of flight as possible. I want to share my love for aviation with the world by inspiring people to dream beyond the limiting factors they’ve set for themselves.

My goal is to take as many “future pilots” that have never experienced flying in a small aircraft, on a discovery flight–free of charge. By giving these discovery flights, I will be accomplishing my vision for LightSport Girl.

“It is impossible to experience something without being given the opportunity.”

Margarita Rivera
~LightSport Girl

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