MEBAA Convention News

Dreams Soar Prepares for Solo Flight

 - December 5, 2016, 4:00 AM

When Shaesta Waiz launches her solo round-the-world flight, planned for next spring, all of the complex flight planning and trip logistics needed for the 25,000-mile journey will be taken care of by Hadid International Service (Stand 528) and Aviation Support Solutions. The two companies have partnered to help Waiz’s Dreams Soar mission achieve her goal of reaching out to young people in 18 countries “to inspire the next generation, specifically women, girls and minorities to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] and aviation education.” Waiz plans to raise money during the flight to fund scholarships for young women and men to pursue STEM and aviation careers.

Waiz is planning to depart from and return to Daytona Beach International Airport in Florida, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Her itinerary includes 30 stops on five continents and a total trip duration of 90 days.

Waiz grew up in Richmond, California, with her five sisters, and she always assumed she would get married and have her own large family. “It wasn’t until I found aviation that I started thinking about having a career and going to college,” she wrote on her website, She is the first certified civilian female pilot from Afghanistan. “Every time I open the door of an aircraft, I ask myself, ‘How did a girl with my background become so lucky?’ The truth is, anyone can be me.”

The aircraft Waiz will fly around the world is a 2001 Beechcraft A36 Bonanza carrying an extra 100-gallon ferry tank, for a total fuel capacity of 214 gallons and a ferry range of 2,800 nm. Honeywell’s BendixKing division has donated an AeroWave satcom for the trip, while Garmin provided a DeLorme InReach two-way satellite text-messaging and tracking system, and Bose supplied an A20 noise-canceling headset.

The longest leg of the flight will be 2,184 nm from Hilo, Hawaii, to El Cajon, California. The first over-ocean leg will be the flight from St. Johns, Canada, to Santa Maria, Portugal, which is 1,374 nm.

“Shaesta is an inspiration to all of us,” said Lyndse Costabile, board of director’s chair for Dreams Soar. “She has created a spark and a flame in our hearts to live a life giving of ourselves to ensure we positively impact the next generation, our future leaders and our future communities. Her global solo flight is only one chapter of the Dreams Soar program, yet one that will leave a footprint on the lives of 20,000-plus women and men globally.”

Hadid International Service is headquartered in Dubai and offers flight permits, charter, flight planning, navigation and ground support services. Aviation Support Solutions provides strategic planning and analysis, safety management systems, key performance indicators, project/program management, team leadership and staff training. “Continuous focusing on improving operational efficiency is the key to success for all aviation sectors,” said Aviation Support president Basel Diab.