Learn To Fly: Lessons From Lady Pilots

For some people, the thought of being 20,000 feet in the air as the passenger of an airplane is scary. For Syreeta Gates, 23, and Danya Steele, 26, they both landed on an idea to take their goals to new heights while attending a personal development seminar last summer.  After seeing a special for discounted flight lessons, the two decided to take advantage of this opportunity. Parlour chatted with the two about their flying experience, other passions and words of inspirations to other Parlouristas interested in making a change.

PARLOUR: How did you and Syreeta decide to take a flying lesson?

Danya: She and I were influenced by this seminar about honoring our word. We spent the whole summer talking about it. The instructor said mostly the people who take the class are doctors and lawyers and then we joked and said the rest must be the cool people, like us.

Was it difficult?

Danya: I felt like flying was easier than learning to drive at least from the first lesson. We flew over the Verrazano [Bridge] and Midtown [Manhattan] and it was beautiful. I have gone on a private helicopter flight before and this blew that out of the water. I would absolutely do it again.

What did your friends think when you told them you were flying a plane?

Syreeta: One of my friends asked ‘Why are you flying a plane?’ and I kinda got cocky with it and told him ‘Everything we do is fly, I felt like it was only right we fly a plane.’ We brush our teeth, we comb out our wrapped hair, we fly a plane.

In addition to flying, you’re working on a book Danya?

Danya: I’m an author. I’m working on a book in South Africa and I’ll be returning there at the top of 2012. My book is all about young people in South Africa who are changing the world and what it means to be African. It’s exciting. I spent time living in South Africa when I was studying abroad at the University of Cape Town.

What message do you tell your younger peers about pursuing their dreams, what if I want to be an street artist?

Syreeta: If you are interested in graffiti, go to all their different events and surround yourself with people to turn it up for you. If you are hanging around ten bums, you are the eleventh one. Everybody talks about what they did when they were 30, I got seven years until 30!

Many of our icons died young, how do you feel about building a legacy at an early age?

Syreeta: It’s said that the good die young so if you’re going to die, why not go out with a bang? I hope I have a long life, but if I was to die young, they can write on my tombstone, ‘I made it happen.’

Click on Part I and Part II for the videos of their flight excursion.