Dear readers:

Written by Elenita Asch · Filed Under anuncios, Comentarios de Elenita 

June 16, 2015

Elenita Asch

The following story is about an Air Race that is taking place in a week.

In other words you will learn the outcome after reading the article. We all share the love of aviation. That is why I have chosen to tell you about it.

And then report the results.


FLYING THE AIR RACE CLASSIC (ARC) in an annual event

Remember reading about the Powder Puff Derby of 1929? It was the first Women’s Air Derby; a transcontinental race as part of the National Air Races at Cleveland, entered by 20 women flyers who flew from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio.

I became interested in the 2015 race when attending a meeting of Donors and Recipients at the Vaughn College where I serve as a Trustee and sponsor two Scholarships.

Margarita Cholakova, one of this year’s graduates of Vaughn caught my attention the second I spotted her at the school. I requested an interview at my office and my first impression when she crossed the threshold was her huge smile, which never disappeared during the delightful time we spent together. Thin, lithe, pretty and enthusiastic, she comes across as a young boy with her short hair, thin frame and a wild passion of aviation. It’s part of her aura of and was apparent enough to interest an alumnus of Vaughn who has sponsored Margarita and her teammate, Wendy Bonilla, covering all expenses, when he learned of her participation in this Air Race Classic (ARC).

Margarita’s interest in aviation began at 6 when she had her first taste of being aboard an airplane.

She was born in Bulgaria and came to the States in 2006 to visit her Mother, living here and Margarita never returned home. When she told me that she is the mother of a 20-year-old girl attending College in Boulder, Colorado, wow!, that was a surprise.

Vaughn appeared to be the perfect school to follow her passion and they came up with the Red Bird Flight Program in Texas, where she learned everything pursuant to this career. She had intensive training and she would fly with an instructor at least 3 times a day. When not flying, she was in a simulator.

Margarita likens herself to an alcoholic: She loves to work and she does each job with intensity, but always with that huge smile which must be part of her DNA.

She got her instrument rating and then her commercial license, and later she became a Flight instructor. Obviously, I am skipping so much of the hard work that came with each advancement.

Margarita stressed when telling her story how Doctor Sharon DeVivo, President of the Vaughn College, supported her all the way. Also, Emerson Allen, who had been a Captain for United Airlines, Flight Advisor and on staff at Vaughn and who accompanied the students to Texas to assist them with their training.

Margarita received her Flight Instructor license training at the Heritage Flight Academy at MacArthur Airport in Long Island.

One day she found a brochure in her mailbox with an invitation to become a part of the “Air Race Classics”. She talked to Debra Hanterbury and got the “thumbs up”, but one of the requirements was to be a student. She mentioned the idea to Wendy Bonilla, also studying at Vaughn, who had also been training at the Red Bird Training Center. They had been roommates for a while in Texas and became friends. She agreed to join the team.

The next hurdle…they needed an airplane! Dr. DeVivo was consulted. She felt it was a good venture and good for Vaughn. Like magic, a Cessna 172 was loaned to the girls.

Well, dear readers; you now have a good idea of the trip to be taken by 56 teams (all women) from all over the country who leave Fredericksburg, West Virginia on June 22 and end in Fairhope, Alabama on June 25.

Margarita says, “we are definitely aiming to win. I pray for this and if that happens, it will be a contribution to Vaughn. In my country there is this saying,” “If I win, we all win; if I lose, it is just me who loses”.


See last page of the June/July editions for race results!



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