Byron residents attend Women in Aviation International Conference


Rebecca and Hannah Hines, a mother and daughter who both attend Rock Valley College in Rockford, recently attended the 31st Annual Women in Aviation International Conference held in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Rebecca is an A&P student graduating in May 2020 is also an A&P student graduating in July of 2021.

“For me, deciding to go into aviation maintenance was pure dumb luck,” Rebecca said.  “I had been a stay-at-home mom for 20 years. I saw that the local airport was expanding, and I wondered if there were jobs there. There were! I signed up for the job, but I fell in love with aviation.” 

Rebecca was so excited about aviation that she was attending community pancake breakfasts at the airport and brining her daughter Hannah along and, “slowly, I started to think this is kind of cool and I’d like to be a part of this,” Hannah said.

If you are wondering, do they share tools? The answer is yes. Do they share books? Yep, books too. They study together, but really, they’ve only had one semester where they overlapped. 

They attended WAI because it is all about women helping women, and, said Rebecca, “Coming last year was my first conference and it changed my life. It taught me the power of women helping each other and there’s nothing else like it. And everyone just wants to help each other.”

At the conference, Rebecca was awarded the prestigious AIRBUS Leadership Grant.

Aviation safety has always been important to Rebecca, going back to her days as a nuclear mechanic in the Navy. Following procedures to the letter can make the difference between life and death. It is a responsibility that Rebecca has never taken lightly. 

Rebecca’s goal after graduation is to work for a major airline, in their safety department.