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Kern Award Winner Erika Armstrong Says Engagement Key to Building Interest in Aviation

Dec. 23, 2020

Erika Armstrong is a big believer in connecting with other pilots, as well as non-aviators, on social media, in the classroom, via articles she writes and by developing ground training curriculum for her Part 91 and 135 clients.

“I just love the engagement,” said Armstrong, who is also the creator of the “Chick in the Cockpit” blog, which has 500,000 followers. She also has written a book with the same title.

The former Part 91, 135 and 121 captain is especially proud that her social media efforts attract just about as many non-aviation people as aviation people. “I’m proud to share our industry and make connections with individuals that might be interested in getting into aviation,” she declares.

Armstrong is one of the recipients of the 2020 NBAA Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award, which comes as no surprise, given her longtime commitment to safety and her current work with Advanced Aircrew Academy designing customized ground training curriculums for operators, as well as writing the academy’s blog and newsletters. She also teaches aviation classes at Denver’s Metropolitan State University and is a well-known speaker and author on a host of aviation safety topics.

“There is an invisible circle of safety around each pilot that grows with experience and knowledge, but it still has an edge and a limit,” Armstrong asserts. “Accidents are what happens when we operate outside of that circle. An aviation professional will have self-awareness of the risks for that day, both internal and external, and redraw that circle for every flight.

“When we’re tired, under pressure, weather is moving in, mechanical issues pop up and the daily variables of flying create high demands on a pilot, that’s the moment an aviation professional will acknowledge those variables and realize that the circle of safety is getting too small to operate within and do something about it.”

Review NBAA’s resources related to professionalism in business aviation.

Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award

Nine individuals were selected to receive the NBAA Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award in 2020. Created in 2015 to honor Dr. Tony Kern, this peer-nominated award recognizes individual pilots, maintenance technicians, flight attendants, dispatchers and other aviation professionals who excel in leadership in the areas of professional ethics, vocational excellence, continuous improvement, professional engagement, professional image and selflessness.

Learn more about the NBAA Dr. Tony Kern Professionalism in Aviation Award.

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