Captain Kristen Mansel
Captain Kristen Mansel's aviation inspiration came at an early age from her grandfather, who flew L-5's during WWII, her father who was a pilot, and her brother who was learning how to fly in Concord, California. Riding along in the back of the plane during her brother's lessons, Kristen felt a sense of freedom from the view from above.
Her own career took wings on her fifteenth birthday when her family gave her an introductory flight as a gift. Soloing at 16, Kristen never looked back. Today she flies as pilot and initial operating experience captain in charter operations for Berry Aviation on the Fairchild Metroliner in southern California.
Kristen is grateful to the Ninety-Nines for the scholarships from the Sacramento Valley Chapter and two Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships for her multi-engine instructor rating and Boeing 737 type rating.
Kristen is a member of the Mount Diablo Chapter and a Coordinator for the 99s Professional Pilot Leadership Initiative, a mentoring and leadership program for women pursuing pilot careers. Her advice for pilots just starting out is to obtain the flight instructor certificate and ratings for the experience of teaching people how to fly because "you learn from watching others." She recommends "getting involved with and giving back to the aviation community by joining groups, mentoring, and networking."