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Airshow Honors Women Pilots

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(Rancho Cordova, CA)
Friday, September 10, 2010
This year's event has a theme:
"We're celebrating the centennial of women in aviation." 
Darcy Brewer is the airshow's executive director. 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of a woman earning a pilot license. That pilot was Raymonde de Laroche of France. And Brewer says to pay tribute they're featuring an array of female pilots.
"Several that flew in World War II, the WASPS, all the way through the youngest world aerobatic team member."
That would be 26-year-old Melissa Pemberton, an athletic woman with short blonde hair sporting aviator sun-glasses. Standing next to her plane, a small single-seater, painted blue with flames on the side, Pemberton describes her airshow routine. 
"You'll see anything from the straight lines, the snap roles. I start my show with 5,000 feet of inverted flat spins coming in. It's a lot of fun."
And while she's performing those stunts, Pemberton is actually able to talk to spectators via the airshow's sound system. Something that catches the audience off-guard.
"I've had a lot of people come up to me after and say 'hey, my kid was just talking about how amazing that guy was flying up there and then we heard your voice and said - oh no that's a girl.' And then the little girls can say 'hey, I can go do that too." 
Pemberton says being that inspiration to young girls is particularly rewarding during this centennial year of women in aviation.
The California Capital Airshow takes place tomorrow and Sunday.
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