Deanna Strand: A Special Kind of Instructor
BY Ruth S. Anderson - High Country Chapter
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN PILOTS / 99 NEWS
The number of women interested in beginning flying lessons is increasing every year. But most women begin their flying lessons with vastly different backgrounds and levels of experience than men. As a consequence, "Women learn to fly in a different manner than men," says Deanna Strand of High Country Chapter.
Since 1958, Deanna has been the operator of Strand Flying School in Grand Junction, Colorado, and has seen firsthand the difference. If a man is told that a carburetor does this or that, he probably understands. while a woman might have no idea what a carburetor is.
Deanna's sensitivity to the needs of women pilots gives her an important advantage in teaching style and techniques. In fact, after a brief absence from instructing, one of Deanna's women students told her she was delighted to have her back because, even though she felt the substitute male instructor was very competent, she was anxious to continue her lessons under Deanna's caring concern.
Many local Mesa County schools benefit from Deanna's enthusiasm for flying when she works with them on their teacher plans and customizing lessons. For example, if a first grade teacher asks Deanna to work on a program about "anything that flies," Deanna might bring colored construction paper to class cut in different shapes of tails, wings and propellers. After explaining the parts, she lets pupils pick out pieces to make their own airplanes.
Middle school girls get a chance to learn about flying from Deanna in a weekend program at Mesa State College called "Expanding Your Horizons." The girls can choose several classes to attend and Deanna's aviation seminars always attract a crowd. She also assists Boy and Girl Scout groups and offers flying time to students at an alternative high school.
With four planes - a Cessna 150, 172, 182 and a Piper Arrow - Deanna is helping add to the number of women pilots who enter jobs in the private and corporate sectors. May they all become members of The 99s!