When I saw my name on the side of the Beechcraft Bonanza, my attempt to become the youngest woman to fly around the world felt even more real.
Over the weekend, I flew to San Diego, California, to pick up the aircraft that will take me to 33 stops across five continents to inspire the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) professionals and pilots.
Outside the cockpit’s window “Pilot Shaesta Waiz” is written on the exterior of the plane. For me, this was tangible evidence that this flight is moving forward and I’ll be taking off on June 2 from Daytona Beach.
This single-engine aircraft has been in production longer than any other airplane in history—debuting at the end of World War II. The Bonanza aircraft is also what Matt Guthmiller flew in when he became the Guinness World Record holder as the youngest person to fly solo around the world at the age of 19.
There is a lot of planning and logistical challenges that lie ahead. In the next few months, the Dream Team will be obtaining permits for landing, navigating routes and finalizing a flight plan. I will also be attending safety training to prepare for the flight.
The Bonanza will be making its public debut Jan. 28 at the National Business Aviation Association regional forum at the Palm Beach International Airport. During the forum that brings the aviation industry together, I will be there to share my story and meet other aviation enthusiasts.
I hope to see you there!