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Arctic Thunder air show inspires next generation of pilots

By KTVA Alaska 6:29 AM July 28, 2014

Aerobatics in an Edge 540 aircraft and the voice of a woman, Melissa Pemberton, coming from the pilot seat: For kids like Ailene Osborne, this is the stuff that dreams are made of.

“I think it’d be cool to be up in the air,” Ailene said. “It shows that girls can do anything they want to just like boys can.”

Ailene’s mom, Dora Osborne, said she merely came to the show to spend quality time with family. But her family – particularly her daughters  – will be leaving with so much more.

“I’ve always told them they can do anything but to be out here and see that, it’s priceless,” Osborne said.

While Pemberton flew her Edge 540 aircraft, Maj. Caroline Jensen was in the pilot seat of a Thunderbird, making them the only two women to fly in the 2014 Arctic Thunder air show.

“Dad is the soldier, dad flies the airplanes but to see a girl do it, it’s really inspiring for them,” Osborne said Sunday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Many of the children that attended the air show are the sons and daughters of military members from all branches. Some of their parents said the Arctic Thunder open house has offered their children a new appreciation for the work they do every day.

Meanwhile, Osborne said her daughters are walking away from the air show with new plans for careers in aviation thanks to the Arctic Thunder air show helping show that even the sky’s not a limit.

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