60 And Lovin' It !


In April of 2015, Judith Burleson was taking a flight with John Besherse, the owner of LearjetJohn Aviation. “I was hooked”, she said. This past March, she passed her private pilot check ride, thus receiving her pilot’s license. The issue is not so much that she’s a woman. The fascinating factor is, she’s 60 years old.

Clearly this is a new day for women in aviation as there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of organizations that promote women in aviation. However, at an age where most begin to see retirement over the horizon, Burleson actually saw the horizon. She had already been managing Learjetjohn Aviation since 2016. Located in tanner, Alabama LearJetJohn is the premier flight school in the area at Pryor Field. Recently, they conducted an aviation camp for youth. The theme was, “Changing Attitudes With Altitudes”. A special guest appearance and speech was made by retired US Air Force Colonel Ed Yielding.

Located in Decatur, Alabama, the Pryor Field Airport (DCU) serves the western portion of the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area and most of the Decatur Metropolitan Area. Pryor Field is currently the busiest regional airport in Alabama. The Pryor Field Regional Airport receives $30,000 annually each from the cities of Athens and Decatur and from the county commissions of Morgan and Limestone.

There are an estimated 163,695 active civilian pilots with a private certificate as of last December, and an estimated 10,255 were women, according to the FAA. What this shows is that the joy of flight is open to all regardless of race, religion, gender, and age. LearjetJohn is home to 10 women aviators, five of which were trained at the facility.

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