Recent History 1999
Oct. 6, 1999
By Charity Wallace, Daily News Staff
At 69, Bernice Ashlee is still flying high and this time she’s doing it solo.
The Gundy resident flew solo for the first time Monday and is well on her way to becoming a recreational pilot.
“This is something that I wanted to do but I just never got around to until now,” she says.
Ashlee said that both of her sons and her brother-in-law have their licenses and she just loves flying, so this was the next logical step.
“It all started 30 years ago when my brother-in-law, Leonard Ashlee, was taking his pilot license,” she said.
“He used to invite me and the kids to go flying so he had company and we all got hooked.”
She started her lessons in May and was up in the air by the beginning of June. She said that she and Hazel Moffit were talking about how much they would like to learn to fly, they decided to just do it. They called Larry Moody of Northward Air to find out when they could get started.
“Last fall Hazel Moffit and I asked Larry if we could take lessons and he told us that we could as soon as Didrick arrived”, Ashlee said.
Didrick Strand is a flight instructor with Northward Air Ltd. and he said that Ashlee did very well.
“Bernice did an excellent job on her first solo,” Strand said.
Moffit, 73, also started taking lessons but is not yet ready to fly solo.
Ashlee said that flying gives her the greatest feeling and she never turns down a chance to fly.
“Flying is the best feeling in the world. Taking off is the most exciting part of the flight.”
The next step for Ashlee is a flight that will take a minimum of two hours in the air to complete.
Ashlee says that getting a pilot’s license isn’t as easy as it may sound.
“People have to put in more than 40 hours at ground school,” she says. “They also have to pass a medical, get a radio license, and log lots of hours of flying.”
Ashlee received a certificate of achievement for her first solo flight from the flying school and says that she is looking forward to many more hours in the air.