Assistant Fire Chief
I was on command duty rotation with our local Fire Department (North County Regional Fire Authority, Stanwood WA., assisting the City of Arlington Fire Department) and was participating in the morning pre-activity briefings. …Long story short; Ms. Rueger agreed, and Jamie went up with her for nearly an hour. To say that it was the single largest milestone in her determination and resolve to continue with her path is a true understatement. That moment in time with Ms. Rueger is beyond priceless and will never be forgotten by her for the remainder of her life.
Ms. Rueger made that happen and treated her so well; she made her feel proud, excited, and most of all: important. Seeing them fly off together was like looking at both the past and the present, and the realization of a young girls’ dream to be a pilot (both of them). I sincerely hope that you have the opportunity to see the video she made of their flight and to see the pure joy in BOTH of their faces; one feeling the exhilaration of her first time, the other renewing her love and passion once again with another person discovering what she did years before.
This story is just one of many in which Ms. Rueger has done exactly this same thing. She is an outstanding example of what is great about aviation, why it is known to many (and should be known by more) of how loving and welcoming the aviation industry is.
I cannot in any way express to you how much I (we) believe that Ms. Rueger is exactly the type of person to be in airshows; why she is exactly what the aviation industry needs to represent who and what it is; and exactly the type of person that ICAS needs to have on their circuit to inspire countless more youth to get involved in the industry.
It is very appropriate to say that Ms. Rueger made a vastly significant impact on our daughter's life and appears to have been the catalyst that has forged her determination to make her dreams come true.
It is no secret that the world has drastically changed over the last 20-30 years. There just do not seem to be any heroes left; the type of person that a child, teen, or young adult wants to look up to; moreover, the type that a parent hopes they would look up to.
Ms. Rueger epitomizes the type of person that fits this role. She is intelligent, very well-spoken, professional, approachable, friendly, & caring. Some pilots can be arrogant, cocksure, and tough to connect with; this is certainly not the case with Ms. Rueger. She exudes the type of love and dedication for her craft; her joy of flight, which is infectious to all around her. She is a commercial pilot by trade and a performing pilot by choice. In all honesty, I do not even think it is a choice- it is in her genome; she has to fly, she was born to fly. I very much believe the same is true of my daughter. Her presence & representation of the core values of the ICAS performance flying circuit (and aviation as a whole) simply cannot be overstated.
As a fellow professional in a trade where your training counts immensely, shortcuts can be fatal, and there simply is no acceptance for mediocrity, I could not possibly offer a more truthful affirmation & personal reference as to why ICAS should ensure that Ms. Rueger is an integral part of the family & roster of pilots that represent aviation and all that is wonderful about it.