Anne C. Eriksen is known in Delaware flying circles as the champion of young people who want to be pilots. She creates scholarships for them, mentors them, flies with them and raves about their triumphs.
"I know the desire," says Anne, a pilot since 1970. "When I see this dream in a youngster's eyes, I want him or her to fly."
Says a flying friend: "Anne is happiest talking to any young person she can corner and tell about the joys and benefits of aviation."
An indomitable spirit, Anne is also ring leader of women's flight activities in the Diamond State. After all, it was she who founded the Delaware chapter of the Ninety-Nines, the national organiza-tion of women pilots. The chapter was born in 1976 when she secured Wilmington as terminus for the finale of the legendary Powder Puff Derby, the women's transcontinental air race. She was co-chairman, fund-raiser and inspiration.
"I scrounged up enough women pilots (eleven) to form a chapter," she says.
Under her leadership, the 99s' primary mission has been raising money for scholarships for young women. Several years ago, Anne started a mentoring program for women flight students at Delaware State College. Last year she launched a unique fund-raiser for aviation students at Wilmington College- an E-mail network, urging friends to send checks to a fund in care of the college flying fraternity. Last year, judges awarded a scholarship to a male student.
Anne and husband Paul, also a pilot, live in Newark. Anne was nominated by Mary Lou Hagan of Williamstown, N.J.