Legends in Flight Airshow Experience



It all started with someone posting a quick reply to a post on Facebook I made in March, “Jenn, I have an opportunity for you, I’ll be in touch soon.”  My friend and I connected and he shared his idea – I called Carrie and she said: “let’s do it- let’s have a booth at the Air Force’s largest Air Show in May!!”  Holy smokes! I thought to myself.  We are doing this!

There was a lot of planning involved- how would we present ourselves, what would we share with the kids?  It was a STEM event that we were being asked to support – we had to do something interesting but within our budget.  We thought of bringing some VR gear, but after some discussion, we realized that putting a kid in Virtual Reality would not give us the engagement we were seeking – plus we aren’t Virtual Reality salespeople.  So Carrie came up with “Hoop Airplanes“, bottle rockets and coloring.  We bought the stores out of straws, index cards, crayons, paper and 35mm film containers (remember those?) and headed to Washington DC.  And thanks to the financial support of many of our friends and family, we pulled it off.

We had an absolutely amazing time at the Joint Base Andrews Airshow that took place that weekend, May 10-12 2019.  We engaged with over 5000 children and adults throughout the event spreading the word about women in aviation and the possibilities available for everyone.  It was fun promoting Preflight Aviation Camp, Legacy Flight Academy, and Sisters of the Skies as we built hoop airplanes that looked like they shouldn’t fly and rockets with the little ones.

We also met many interesting people.  Next to our booth was a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) booth where kids were introduced to some of their fascinating STEM projects.  Behind our booth was the NavSea Seaperch booth, highlighting underwater robots, and across from our booth was the Smithsonian Mars Map and Mars Tour bus – the first unveiling of it ever. As well as many many more.


The whole event was educational and fun, we were grateful to be a part of it all.  The best part was meeting Mae Krier, one of the original Rosie the Riveters – an energetic 93-year-old who continues to inspire women to do the extraordinary through her iconic bicep curl. If it wasn’t for the patriotic women of the riveters (one in four married women in 1943), the United States would not have been able to maintain its manufacturing dominance during the war.


Altogether, the weekend was a humbling and exciting event.  We were so grateful to our photographer, @Laylasnapz (on Instagram) for her amazing eye, K. Zimmerman for his encouragement and connections, and Ryan V. for all of the opportunities he provided us.  The Milieux Project is starting to catch on and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

If you like what you see here, please contact us for your next event.  We love engaging and sharing our stories.  Also, please show your support where ever you go with a Milieux Patch or sticker which can be purchased on our home page.  Thanks so much for reading and being a part of the change!  #changethemilieux #aviatrix #rosietheriveter #womeninhistory


************************************************************************************The Rosies Need your Help!  See below for an opportunity to help recognize these iconic women at the National Level.  All it takes is your signature and note to your congressman.

Support S.892 The Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019.

Also support H.R. 1773 The Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019.

You can’t vote

It wasn’t that long ago that women were told just that.

Men blocking women from voting – 1917

Could you imagine a time that you were not only banned from voting- you were arrested for protesting for the right to do it?

We take for granted the rights that were fought for us over 100 years ago. Women were jailed, beaten or starved for picketing for the right to vote. We owe a lot to these women.

From Atlas Obscura; BY REINA GATTUSO SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

This Atlas Obscura article reviews the pin that they created to memorialize the women who sacrificed their freedom for the vote. Read more here.

#changeyourmilieux #growherwings #vote2020

News from The Milieux Project!

Happy Saturday! We hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. We have been keeping busy at The Milieux Project. Like many of you, we have made a few changes to adjust to coexisting with COVID-19 and we have also been taking the time and making the space to talk with friends (both old and new) about current events in our world.

Which brings us to this announcement. Some of you may have noticed our new website. We are still working out some of the changes (and trying to make it easier to both see and navigate the blog). But the biggest changes are the launch of our limited podcast series titled “Making Space to Talk” and our regular podcast series “Grow Her Wings”. We hope you will take the time to listen and share with friends, family and colleagues and join us as we have these conversations. Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. We are also available on YouTube.

A short description of each series follows — the first episode of each is available now. Thank you for your continued support as we endeavor to #changethemilieux and #growherwings.

Grow Her Wings: What does it mean that a girl receives her pilot wings?  It can mean a lot more than a perfect possession of the required skills to fly.  Join Carrie and Jenn, two seasoned Special Operations pilots, as they explore the lessons flying can teach beyond the flight deck. We’ll interview inspirational people, leading experts, courageous women and men, to learn together, give advice, take advice, talk about flying…and maybe even work in some instruction on flying the 747 and/or helicopters. Please Join us as we #growherwings

Making Space to Talk: Join us for a special panel we gathered to discuss personal emotions and thoughts surrounding the death of George Floyd and events that followed. Carrie and Jenn host colleagues Ryan Garlow, Brendan Epps, Willie Allen and Rashad Howard (of RashadHoward.com) in a series we call “Making Space to Talk” as we discuss our personal experience of the event, the reaction to it, institutionalized racism, and the true need of authentic discussion and accountability.

WARNING: Some of the discussion is disturbing to some. Viewer and listener discretion is advised. 

DISCLAIMER: None of the views expressed in this discussion are representative of the Department of Defense, US Air Force or any other official office.

Making Space to Talk

In the midst of the most difficult time our nation has faced this year, Milieux Project, Inc, invited some friends and colleagues to join Jenn and Carrie to talk about the issues- racism, barriers, authenticity and responsibility.

Please join us as we work through our emotions, the injustice and the possible solutions for us individually.

Hidden Figure No More

Mary W. Jackson was once a “hidden figure” at NASA. On Wednesday, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced NASA’s Washington D.C. headquarters is now named after her.

Mary Jackson at Work NASA Langley [photo credit: NASA]

Most of us remember the 2016 Film “Hidden Figures” (adapted from Margo Lee Shetterley’s book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race) which introduced us to Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Each were part of NASA’s team of women working out of the segregated West Area Computing Unit of NASA’s Langley Research Center. Capable of performing detailed mathematical calculations, these women were referred to as human “computers”. They calculated, by hand, complex equations critical to the space program, allowing our nation’s astronauts to not only travel to space, but also safely return.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, second from left, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, third from left, and Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the book “Hidden Figures,” right, unveil the “Hidden Figures Way” street sign at a dedication ceremony, Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. The 300 block of E Street SW in front of the NASA Headquarters building was designated as “Hidden Figures Way” to honor Katherine Johnson, Dorthy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and all women who have dedicated their lives to honorably serving their country, advancing equality, and contributing to the space program of the United States. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

In Wednesday’s press release, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine stated: “Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology. Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building. It appropriately sits on ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ a reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success. Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made NASA’s successful history of exploration possible.”

The Milieux Project celebrates Mary and those like her: drawing from the strength within to achieve success, shatter obstacles, challenge societal norms, and lead the way for the rest of us as we navigate the path to our own dreams.

Learn more about Mary Jackson and others www.nasa.gov/modernfigures

Partnership Announcement

We are incredibly excited to announce our partnership with Jenn Sherman and The Influencer Collective as we develop our presence and share our passion. This partnership is going to take Milieux Project, Inc and our mission to the next level thanks to Jenn and her talented team! We are grateful to all who support us everyday-we couldn’t exist without you. Follow us on IG, Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all our happenings. And subscribe to the Influencer Collective podcast, a Dose of Your Future.


“The Air is the Only Place Free of Prejudices”

These true and famous words were once spoken by pioneer and aviatrix, Bessie Coleman. A visionary woman whose life ended too soon- but who led a life full and fearlessly for us all to follow.

Bessie was born into poverty as the 10th of 13 children to a sharecropper in Atlanta, TX. Intelligent and determined, she finished grade school (walking 4 miles one way to attend) and qualified first for a scholarship to a private Baptist secondary school and then on to Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University in Langston, Oklahoma (now known as Langston, University). She completed one semester of university before school costs exceeded her resources, for which she had to drop out of- but not to give up on.

After a short trip home to Texas, Bessie relocated to Chicago, Illinois to join her brothers and find employment. Chicago was becoming a safe metropolitan for black families that were escaping the Jim Crow south. Aviation was still a fledgling industry, but the stories of flight and daring from soldiers returning from World War I captivated young Bessie, and she developed an obsession with flight. That, compounded with teasing from her brothers about the advances of other countries for women and support from friends fortified her resolve that she would fly.

Mr. Robert S. Abbott, founder of the weekly paper the Chicago Defender and media pioneer, suggested (and later helped finance, along with banker Jesse Binga) that Bessie travel to France to obtain her flight certificate. Bessie agreed, spending the summer learning French before she entered the Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in January of 1921. She was the only minority in her class, and in seven months earned her international pilot’s license.

Bessie returned to the United States as a mini celebrity; newspapers and other media had started to cover her story while she was overseas. She wanted to use this celebrity to advocate for black pilots while touring the country as a barnstormer. These traveling air shows involved the most death-defying aviation tricks in history, such as wing walking and parachute jumping, but the stunts required more advanced training – for which Bessie could not find a school that would train her. It was then that Bessie decided to sail back to France and complete her training, and link up with the famed Luftwaffe airplane designer Anthony Fokker.

As can be imagined, Bessie brought a lot of attention everywhere she went as she was not only the first black international pilot, but the first female black pilot. She was well spoken, educated and driven- and her goals were to fly over every school, church and neighborhood and establish the first flight school for minorities in the US. And, in true pilot spirit, she embellished some of her already remarkable achievements- giving her the nickname “Queen Bess”. Some media outlets accused her or being opportunistic and greedy, but it did not deter Queen Bess and her goals.

And, in true pilot spirit, she embellished on some of her already remarkable achievements- giving her the nickname “Queen Bess”

Her path continued to be met with challenges, when her first personal plane suffered a malfunction in flight and crashed, injuring Bessie with 3 broken ribs and a broken leg. It took 18 months for her to recover, during which time she spoke and advocated for minorities in aviation “I thought it my duty to risk my life to learn aviation and to encourage flying among men and women of our race, who are so far behind the white race in this modern study,” she told reporters. She was selective in who she performed for, refusing events that were segregated or disallowed black audiences. “I knew we had no aviators, neither men nor women, and I knew the race needed to be represented along this most important line.” Capitalizing on her courage and ability, she blazed a trail for women and minorities.

Her journey brought her to Jacksonville, Florida in 1926, near the birth place Mr. Robert Abbott of St. Simon, Georgia. An airshow hosted by the fledgling organization, The Jacksonville Negro Welfare League, was planned for 1 May, 1926 from Paxon Airfield – a small but active airstrip in the center of town. Bessie’s mechanic and agent had purchased a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane for her stunts, which he flew from Texas to Orlando for the show, but the plane was so poorly maintained that he was forced to land it multiple times along the way.

When Willis shared the mechanical issues with the Jenny, Coleman decided to go on with the show. Friends and family begged her to reconsider. Bessie was again undeterred, and chose to survey the area for her stunts on 30 April, 1926. Tragically, the Jenny had mechanical issues again for Mr. Willis, a wrench broke loose in the cockpit and lodged itself in the gear box. The plane began an unrecoverable nosedive from which Bessie was ejected and the killing the pilot shortly following.

A film was later produced by the Norman Film Company, loosely based on Bessie’s life story, titled The Flying Ace.

Although she lost her life at an early age, her legacy remains. There is a bronze plaque dedicated to her at Paxon School of Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, FL, and with effort we hope a more impactful memorial will be made to her soon. The remarkable tenacity and courage of Bessie Coleman will never be forgotten. Here is a toast to the brave Queen Bess.

#girlpilot #befierce #jacksonville #changeyourmilieux #AmericanHistory #blackhistory #womenshistory

How Preflight Camp helped in COVID19

You may not have thought about all the impacts an experience in flying could have on a young mind, but we at the Milieux Project, Inc know that flying builds resiliency, creativity and patience- which are all important skills that come specifically from piloting an aircraft.

Both Carrie and Jenn have been hard at work, staying involved in cargo flying (UPS for Carrie) and COVID19 testing (Jenn with the Air National Guard) and helping our communities. So we thought we would check in with our scholarship winner, Paige, and find out what she and her family are doing in this pandemic.

It was wonderful to hear that she is working on a garden (so is Jenn!) and flying to pick up pizza for her community (like Carrie!), on top of her studies for school.

We are so proud of all that Paige (scholarship winner 2018) and Shea (scholarship winner 2019) are doing day to day. Thank you to all of our donors and to all of our subscribers. We are excited to make a difference in another girl’s life- with a patch or a sticker or a straight donation – and keep an eye out for our next podcast with @pivotalmoments

#changethemilieux #preflightcamp #mancospizza

Would you walk on the wing of a flying plane?

The turn of the 20th century was exciting and brilliant with the invention of the airplane.  The idea of flying had only been a dream for inventors and adventurists until December 1903, when three brave and visionary siblings launched their 20 foot by 20 foot spruce and ash built biplane into the sky at Kill Devil Hills in the outer banks of North Carolina.  The courage it took to climb into the homebuilt contraption alone was immeasurable, but in those fateful 12 seconds of flight, The Wright brothers and mankind learned they had new limits to explore.  And so they did.

campbell07 roy

Many people – women and men alike- tested themselves and their own airplanes in this burgeoning field of technology-  from death-defying acrobatic tricks and stunts to distance and stamina tests of machine and person.  And with little (actually no) government regulation, the limits were endless.

One of the more fascinating developments was the art of wing walking.  It’s hard enough for many people today to take off in a commercial jet, seated comfortably in a government-regulated guaranteed safe seat with seatbelts securely fastened.  For those same people, taking off in a small airplane that sounds and feels like a lawnmower is even scarier – so the idea of walking on the wing of an airplane is close to a death wish.  But many people did it at the turn of the century – and some of the most famous of them were women.


These daredevils tested the absolute limits of aerodynamics by to staying upright on an airplane.  Glady Roy was one of the more audacious in the field, walking with a blindfold on, dancing the charleston, and  playing tennis on a wing!

Gladys Engle demonstrated a mid-air wheel maintenance  capability and her supreme talent by carrying a tire on her back while transferring planes:

Another famous wing walker stepped out onto the wing of her airplane on only her second flight!  Her name was Lillian Boyer – and she quickly became famous for her own stunts like transferring from a car to an airplane and hanging from the different parts of her airplane during flight. lillian boyer

The tenacity and nerves of these women can not be understated – those who fly understand the danger involved in such acts.  We have only mentioned a few of these women, but there were many more wing walkers active in the era.  They traveled from small town to small town between the first and second world wars in traveling groups known as barnstormers and flying circuses.  Raising revenue through crowd thrilling spectacles, the wing walkers were able to maintain their art while sharing their passion with the country.  The accident and death rates from these demonstrations were surprisingly low, but government regulations and the economic depression of 1929 soon led to a decrease in participation and frequency of these events.

Luckily for us, the legacy still lives on.  Kristen Pobjoy, 22, of the AeroSuperbatics flying circus continues to inspire girls and thrill-seekers to stretch their comfort level by flying – or wing walking! 22705806-7830035-Kirsten_Pobjoy_22_pictured_from_Stroud_Gloucestershire_-a-58_1577444233960Starting at 14, she was meant for the adventure of a circus and is now one of only 2 full-time formation wing walkers in the world.  She continues to thrill and excite crowds across the world with her strength, balance and courage.

Do you know of any famous wing walkers we missed?  Post them below with a picture or short story!   We are grateful to the pioneers who were brave enough to try and for the women who continue to inspire us with their creativity and courage.

EAA Sport Pilot Academy

Picture care of ICONAircraft.com, all rights reserved

It seems so far away right now, but the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) OshKosh Airventure is practically around the corner- 20-25 July 2020!   And with it comes many opportunities, including the Sport Pilot Academy.

J230-in-flightFor $9,999, 3 weeks and a sense of adventure, an ambitious student pilot could achieve a pilot’s license in 4 weeks or less- guaranteed by one of the largest aviation clubs in the world.  When considering that getting a traditional pilot’s license can take months to years to achieve, $50-$60k, and unpredictable weather, aircraft and instructor issues, this opportunity should be strongly considered by someone who is serious about learning to fly. Plus, the bonus experience of AirVenture.  Just ask our Prefliught Graduate, Paige- who loved Airventure 2019.

Sound interesting?  Check out this link for more information here –EAA Sport Pilot Academy and start saving!  This opportunity should not be missed.