July 24, 2011 — On Friday, July 22, 2011, observers witnessed a beehive of activity at Winter Haven Municipal Airport. On the grassy area beside runway 11, gliders and a tow plane sat patiently. Six high school students, who were scholarship recipients, from the Central Florida Aerospace Academy were receiving flying training and soloing. Caroline Brozovich, age 22, and Pat and Carolina Anderson of Flight Dynamics in De Leon Springs, Fla., and others energetically supervised the neophytes.
Ms. Brozovich wore shorts, because of the intense heat, and a bright red top. Furthermore, she sported fashionably dark sunglasses to protect her eyes from the intense sunshine. Not only was Caroline an aesthetically outstanding individual, more importantly she was providing inspiration and guidance to the youngsters on this very important day.
Caroline beamed with pride as the youngsters eagerly embarked upon a truly memorable day. For the rest of their lives they will recall the experiences from this Friday. She commented, “This is a wonderful day. I love doing this.” Caroline added, “This week at Winter Haven has been one of my absolute favorite flying experiences. I’m sharing my greatest passion with bright, young minds!”
Visibility was virtually unlimited in the morning. One could stare up into the brilliantly blue sky and seemingly see into infinity. Under the broad expanse above, a desire as timeless as humankind came to mind. This aspiration was perhaps best stated by the psalmist who expressed in Psalm 55:6 the following longing: “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”
On the near shore of Lake Jessie, which is on the southwest side of the runway, and adjacent to Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base, appropriately stood a noteworthy home. Rumor has it that, inside the domicile, composition of the classic book Jonathan Livingston Seagull took place. This novella is about a seagull who learns about flight and self-perfection. Ironically, these themes were appropriate for and applicable to the pupils in attendance.
Flying has a way of getting into one’s bloodstream. The lure of flight can be intoxicating. Caroline first went aloft at age 13, and at once she knew the sky had hold of her. She stated, “I took a discovery flight and decided right then and there that’s what I wanted to do.”
Still young, Ms. Brozovich is already a very accomplished and vibrant aviatrix. She follows in the footsteps of famous women fliers such as Amelia Earhart, Jacqueline Cochran and others by inspiring through accomplishments and deeds, and serving as an example and providing encouragement. Caroline summarized her feelings. “I’ve earned Commercial, Instrument, Multiengine, Flight Instructor and Flight Instructor – Instrument ratings. Flying is my greatest passion and always will be. In flying there is always something new to learn and always new challenges. It is always fun, which is why I love it.”
Being a teacher and role model is nothing new for Caroline. In the past she was a soccer coach, aquatics teacher and tutor. Ms. Brozovich said, “Being able to teach somebody to fly is absolutely wonderful.” Yet she is setting her sights higher. “I don’t want to be just a certified flight instructor forever. It is a step in my career that I am thoroughly enjoying, but eventually I want to move on and challenge myself to more difficult flying.” In fact, she stated, “I hope to be a corporate pilot. This spring I did an internship with a corporate flight department and was completely hooked on the planes, the relationships with the passengers and the lifestyle of a corporate pilot.”
Asked about her favorite aircraft, Caroline replied, “I like the B-2 Bomber. This plane is definitely an inspiration to me. It looks so elegant and powerful. The B-2 captivated me early on and still does today.”
In response to a query about what she flies for recreational purposes, Caroline replied, “It depends on my mood. I sometimes take up a Pitts biplane for adrenaline pumping flying and a Piper Cub to relax. As long as I am flying I am happy!”
Several sponsors and supporters made the events possible. Central Florida Aerospace Academy, which is a Career Academy operating under the auspices of Polk County Schools, provided the primary impetus. It is at 4040 Crossfield Way in Lakeland, Fla. This is on the Sun ‘n Fun Campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The institution’s telephone number is (863) 647-4761. Additionally and indirectly, the nonprofit Central Florida Aerospace Academy Foundation aids the Central Florida Aerospace Academy. This organization exists to create means by which educators and others can make available opportunities through which youngsters may experience the freedom of solo flight and become mature individuals.
Educational partners included Polk Sate College and the University of South Florida Polytechnic. Flight Dynamics in De Leon Springs, Fla, handled the operational aspects. One may contact this company about their services by sending a message to email@example.com or telephoning (386) 383-5151.
The author (John Stemple) wishes to thank Caroline Brozovich for graciously granting him an interview.