It’s one thing to show up to the Miss America competition in style. It’s another to fly a plane there.
Miss Vermont winner Erin Connor, 22, who’s had her pilot’s license since age 16, flew an aircraft to Atlantic City, N.J., to commence the Miss America festivities which are set to begin this week, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Connor flew a single-engine 200 horsepower Arrow airplane to the Atlantic City International Airport on Sunday, making a 350-mile trip from Vermont (with one pit stop in upstate New York).
“It was a great day to fly,” she told The Press. “What a great way to start off my 2018 Miss America journey.”
Exiting the cockpit, Connor sported her grandfather’s World War II uniform shirt and blue aviator glasses.
When she was just 16, she earned her pilot’s license from the Vermont Flight Academy at Vermont Technical College. It gave her credits toward high school graduation, The Press notes.
The interest in flying even makes its way into Connor’s platform, which is a charitable or philanthropic cause that every model champions. Her concept: “Tailwinds: training a new generation of women scientists.”
The model and pilot said that flying down to Atlantic City for the nation’s biggest pageant was a great way to encourage women to enter STEM fields and aviation.
Co-piloting her recent trip was Vermont Flight Academy board member Doug White. He told The Press that Connor has had a nice presence at the academy, which in turn has gotten more girls interested in aviation.
“You can see her excitement for flying and it’s great for the programs,” White added, according to the same site.
Connor was joined at the airport by her family members, along with former Miss Vermont Caroline Bright, a current flight attendant for American Airlines. She was set to spend time with them before the Miss America festivities began.
Contestants check in Wednesday, with an arrival ceremony held later in the day. The competition airs Sept. 10 at 9 p.m.