Archive Page 2

Marin 99 Val Westen passes her checkride!!

It was a long time coming, but on December 11, 2017, my flight instructor, Marc Ashton, and I flew to Vacaville, Nut Tree Airport, for my private pilot checkride.  We left Petaluma early, flying east 40 miles into the sunrise.  I was strangely calm even though I was sure my adrenalin was pumping overtime.  At Nut Tree, I met my checkride pilot, Ashley Snider, in the pilot lounge.  She’s young enough to be my daughter, I thought.  Then I wished I had started flying when she did, in college, rather than in my retirement.  Enough I thought, and the real part began: the paper work for the FAA, and the oral exam, which focused very practically on the type of plane I fly, a flight she had asked me to prepare, and myriad other things that go into making the decision of whether to fly on a particular day.  Then—to the plane for the checkride itself.

Continue reading ‘Marin 99 Val Westen passes her checkride!!’

Marin 99 Sue Royce acquired her instrument rating on November 30, 2017!!

November 30, 2017 was the last day I could pass my check ride without having to retake the FAA written exam, as if there was not enough pressure already.  DPE Jim Hinson and I met at 8 a.m. at the Pilot Lounge at Lincoln Regional Airport and dove right in on the oral exam.  It was extensive questioning, including risk management, my airplane’s AD’s and the trip he had me plan to Monterey which was mostly about lost communication and knowing what to do.  We reviewed weather extensively.  After a grueling 2.5 hours Jim told me “You passed the oral” (Whew!!) and we continued on with the flight part of the check ride.  He gave me the 3 approaches we would do and we took to the skies.  After a VOR approach at McClellan Airfield (Jim was my DME, as my Cherokee does not have one), an ILS at Sacramento Mather and the LOC coming back to Lincoln, I heard the magic words after landing . . . “You passed!”  I was one happy lady.

Holiday Party – December 9th!

GFCA/Marin 99’s/EAA Holiday Party

Date:  Saturday, December 9th

Time:  5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Place:  Gnoss Field Airport, Scanlon Aviation Maintenance Hangar, Novato CA

RSVP:  Sue Royce ( or 510-220-7744

Potluck:  A-H Appetizer, I-R Side Dish or Salad, S-Z Dessert 


Meeting Minutes 10/28/17

Our meeting on Saturday, October 28, was a great success.  Several new lady pilot visitors plus special visit by our Southwest Governor, Alice Talnack.  Lots of amazing stories and flying history by all.  Gearing up for the Silent Auction to be held at our upcoming Holiday Party on December 9, proceeds going to our Marin 99s scholarship fund.


Sue Royce, Diane Root, Gretchen Kah, Barbara O’Grady, Val Westen, Alice Talnack, Gayla Edwards, Heather Davis, Jennifer Sawhney and Vicki Martinez.  Val is holding a sample donation check presented to Marin 99s in honor of Joyce Wells.


Joyce Wells receiving her award from Ken Mercer, GFCA President.  GFCA recognized the ongoing contributions Joyce has made to the Marin aviation community and women in aviation during her six decades of flying.    GFCA presented Marin 99s with a donation of $500 in honor of Joyce to go towards the Marin 99s Scholarship Fund.


Sue Royce at GFCA breakfast meeting, presenting the history of the original 1929 Powder Puff Derby and her experience participating in the 2017 Air Race Classic (formerly the Powder Puff Derby) in June.

Marin 99s offers $500 “Wing Up” Check Ride Scholarship:

The purpose of the scholarship is to provide funding for the initial(private) or next level (instrument, commercial, etc.) check ride to support the dreams of women embracing aviation either as a personal passion or as a career.
Application criteria includes: residency within 100 miles of Marin County Airport and the applicant must be eligible for the rating being applied for (ie: number of hours required) and have completed the written requirements for the rating.

Due May 31st. Scholarship award dependent on funds available. Check ride may be within the next year. Please send a description of your flying history, and intentions of flying in the future.

Send applications to Cindy Pickett:

Private Pilot Ground School Class

Ninety-Nines International Conference, San Antonio, TX

Cindy Pickett and Sue Royce represented our Marin 99s Chapter at theNinety-Nines International Conference. In between seminars and break-out sessions, we were able to do a little site seeing, which of course included visiting the Alamo and Riverwalk area. The food in San Antonio was wonderful!!