(Photo courtesy of Air Race 21)
When I attended the WAI Conference in March, one of my favorite speakers was Lieutenant Heather “Lucky” Penney’s two keynote speeches on empowering women in the aviation industry and her experience on 9/11. Many people do not know that a squadron in Washington D.C. – Penney’s Squadron were sent to take down United Airlines Flight 93 – hijacked with terrorists – with no active missiles on board their F-16’s. Penney was essentially on a kamikaze mission and spoke about her willingness to not return home to her family that night because of her commitment to serving our country.
Air & Space Magazine had sent me to the Conference to cover Penney’s speeches and another story that may be published in the future. It was the most moving story I have done thus far. There were many people in the room with tears in their eyes as she told her story – just one of million’s of stories from that Tuesday morning. It was a very touching story and one that I hope everyone gets to hear in full one day. My article touches on the very basics of her speech and what she did that morning – what she was willing to sacrifice. I hope that you’ll take the time to read this story and understand and appreciate what Penney was willing to do that day.