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Marysville man featured in ‘Men of Aviation’ calendar

Marysville pilot Bill Jensen, seen here with his single-seater Starduster, is one of Out of the Blue Aviation’s “Men of Aviation” for 2011. - Photo courtesy of Cathy Mighell
Marysville pilot Bill Jensen, seen here with his single-seater Starduster, is one of Out of the Blue Aviation’s “Men of Aviation” for 2011.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Cathy Mighell

ARLINGTON — Marysville pilot Bill Jensen earned his light-sport license last year at Out of the Blue Aviation at the Arlington Airport, and Out of the Blue owner Cathy Mighell hopes to shine a spotlight on him and a number of his fellow aviators from around the area for a good cause.

“Bill bought himself a single-seater Starduster which he flew home from Arizona,” Mighell said. “He’s now teaching himself aerobatics with verbal coaching from the local aerobatics club.”

Out of the Blue has produced a “Men of Aviation” calendar for 2011, and Jensen is one of the men featured. All proceeds from sales of the calendars will go toward promoting aviation for area youth through “Young Aviator” scholarships and other young pilot programs, but Mighell also wants to showcase a few of the faces that she feels have helped make the Arlington Airport community so special.

“I wanted to pay tribute to their stories,” Mighell said. “So many people here have such fascinating backgrounds. I could have filled this calendar three times over with interesting details.”

Mighell acknowledged that many of the prospective subjects of the calendar were shy about receiving so much attention at first, but once they realized that the calendars would help support youth aviation they became eager to participate. Mighell’s goal is to raise at least $2,000 for Young Aviator scholarships.

“There are so many really unique people right here in Arlington that it was a struggle just to highlight the most significant details,” Mighell said. “Hans von der Hofen, one of our pilots, restores Navy jets and has trained other pilots including Pete Pettigrew, the retired instructor who was the inspiration for the character of ‘Viper’ in the movie ‘Top Gun.’”

Mighell describes herself as passionate about supporting youth aviation training, because she believes that teaching young people about aviation is valuable even if they never enter the field of aviation themselves.

“Not all of the kids that get this training will choose to become pilots, but a lot of them will still be inspired to study aeronautics or engineering,” Mighell said. “It can still serve as a confidence-builder for them, though. Aviation is empowering. Kids often don’t feel like they’re in control, but as a pilot you’re in charge of your own life.”

This year marks Out of the Blue’s first “Men of Aviation” calendar, and Mighell is already considering a “Women of Aviation” calendar for 2012.

For more information, call 360-474-1060, visit 18306 59th Dr. NE at the Arlington Airport or log onto www.outoftheblueaviation.com.

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