For most, this weekend's Sioux Falls Air Show will be all about watching airplanes perform seemingly impossible stunts. But for one Sioux Falls girl, the air show will also be about a special friendship and some big dreams. If Abbie Mollison succeeds in her dream, her name will be in the history books.....and one of her influences is a pilot...named Jacquie Warda.
At first blush, they may seem like an unlikely pair: A 12-year-old girl and a stunt pilot nearly five decades her senior. Jacquie Warda performed at the Sioux Falls Air Show six years ago....and that's when she met young Abbie Mollison. "Who told me promptly that she was planning to be an astronaut. We became fast friends."
Fast friends and pen pals: for six years, they have traded e-mails...centered around their mutual love of flight. You see, Abbie Mollison may be small now...but she has big dreams... dreams that will take her into the sky and beyond. "I do want to get into the Air Force, have experience flying and so that I know what I'm gonna do when I am an astronaut."
And Jacquie says the process of Abbie knowing what to do is about to take a huge step forward. "She's now big enough ...actually physically tall enough...to fit in the airplane to go flying with me."
This is the day both have talked about for years and Abbie isn't afraid to say...taking the first step to follow her dreams is scary and thrilling at the same time. "I had a hard time sleeping last night. I was really excited."
Not very many 12-year-olds get to buckle up and head into the skies in a 2-seater airplane. But Abbie is in good hands....her friend Jacquie is at the controls....and Jacquie knows what it's like to want to be among the clouds. "I'm hoping that she will be thrilled to pieces by this as though she was getting on the world's craziest roller coaster for the first time."
And there's a little something we left out. Abbie wants to go into the Air Force then become an astronaut...but she's not focused on just space or traveling as far as the moon. Abbie has a very specific goal in mind. "My lifetime goal and dream is to be the first girl on Mars."
Reaching the red planet seems a little closer now...thanks to a special friendship and a trip into the wild blue yonder.
Abbie says when she first found out she was going to be able to take this flight with her friend Jacquie, she said she "partied" a little.
2012 KSFY News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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