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10-year-old: ‘Airplanes Have Always Been in My Blood’

By Barbara A. Schmitz

July 23, 2018 - Taylor Peeff, of Louisville, Kentucky, is one focused 10-year-old who can’t wait to turn 15 so she can take the private pilot written test. And when she’s not drawing, practicing karate, playing soccer, or flying a simulator, she is reading and studying for the FAA exam, or selling suckers and homemade jewelry to pay for flying lessons.

That focus has given her a little bit of celebrity status when, after attending Women in Aviation’s Girls in Aviation Day last year, UPS chose Taylor for its Wishes Delivered program. She was given a tour of Worldport by UPS pilot Capt. Gloria Hatcher, and got to co-pilot a six-seater Beechcraft, with the help of Capt. Dave. A video of her experience can be found here. Coincidentally, her father is an airplane mechanic for UPS.

“I like to stay busy,” Taylor said. “I don’t like to be bored.”

She should have no trouble staying busy this week at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Taylor and her family — parents Cindi and Luke, and 9-year-old brother, Grant — are first-time visitors to the fly-in convention. Taylor said she is most excited to see the warbirds, some of the new planes, and the air shows. But she’s also excited to meet new people. In fact, she will be introducing Lt. Col. Olga Custodio, a former T-38 instructor and female Hispanic military pilot, on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Theater in the Woods.

“Airplanes have always been in my blood,” said Taylor, who has wanted to become a pilot since age 4. Recently, she has also been busy logging hours.

While the Beechcraft was Taylor’s first flight in a small airplane, she followed that up with a Young Eagles flight in a Zenith 750 in November 2017, as well as another small plane, a helicopter, and the Ford-Tri-Motor, where she was able to fly as co-pilot.

Homeschooled and entering the fifth grade, Taylor eventually hopes to go to college and fly cargo planes.

For now, however, she is happy sharing her love of aviation with others her age. At a recent Girl Scout Aviation Day, for example, she served as a role model that girls could be interested in aviation. “And a friend says I helped to get her daughter interested in aviation, too,” she said.

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