“Come to the edge,” Life said. They said: “We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge.” Life said.
They came. It pushed them…and they flew.” –Guillaume Apollinaire
This powerful quote impressed me from an early age molding me into the woman I am today.
Before I heard this for the first time, echoed by actress Jessica Tandy as an honoree at the Kennedy Center, I never would have had the confidence to grow into a record breaking pilot, passionate FAA Chief Flight Instructor, award-winning television personality and multi award-winning author. I would not have had the courage to spearhead the freedom of an infamous federal prison inmate who was the victim of a tragic judicial sentencing mistake.
I never would have had the strength to face a life altering illness without this quote reminding me that if I would leap, the net would appear- ultimately allowing me to manage my life and succeed despite the inconvenience/darkness of an autoimmune disease. As a young girl, I never felt pretty or smart enough. But when I learned that anything is possible (although not necessarily easy), I decided to go for my dreams and listen to my heart.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” So true! Run with this knowing. Live your dreams. You have the power! This is my message to the girls I encourage to think outside of the box, to dare to seek non-traditional roles for women like piloting an airplane or pursuing any career, hobby or pastime that makes them feel alive. As the creator of the “Diva Flight Experience” which empowers women through aviation, I introduce gals of all ages to the magic of flight. Being in the pilot’s seat at the controls of a real airplane- and actually flying it- is a metaphor for taking command of their lives. For me, all of this grew out of Apollinaire’s quote to “Come to the Edge”. It gifted me with the Power of Confidence. Life is an amazing adventure! As we chart our personal course from the limitless beautiful paths we can take, I am inspired by yet additional quotes: “A bird sitting in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch but in its own wings”; and”Our own life has to be our message” by Thich Nhat Hanh. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me”! I choose to be positive and successful. And so can you. After all, anything is possible.
MayCay Beeler is a spirited vivacious American aviatrix, world record breaking pilot, award-winning television personality, true crime author, veteran TV host/producer/journalist, spokesperson, and active FAA Certified Flight Instructor with a passion for all things flying.
Born in our Nation’s Capitol, MayCay grew up in the Washington metro area. After a brief stint as a cowgirl working summer jobs in Wyoming, attending Montana State University, and graduating from the University of Kentucky, MayCay found her niche on the small screen and in the big sky. Her television broadcasting career began as a co-host for the nationally syndicated TV show PM Magazine at WATE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her flying career took flight from these same roots.
With an extensive career in television, MayCay has worked for every major network affiliate as on-camera talent in TV news and entertainment. Readers of a local newspaper voted MayCay their “Favorite TV/Radio Personality” in a Charlotte area “best of” poll. Additionally, MayCay has worked as a TV news weather anchor for the ABC and NBC-TV stations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
MayCay’s knowledge of weather comes first hand from her flying career. She is a licensed Airline Transport Pilot and FAA Certified Flight Instructor. She set world aviation records in the experimental Questair Venture aircraft. MayCay has been named FAA Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year for the southern United States. She is a member and former chapter chairman of The Kitty Hawk Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. MayCay represents Greensboro, North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad International Airport as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Airport Support Network volunteer. Additionally, she has served as an AOPA seminar instructor pilot traveling the nation for the Air Safety Foundation. MayCay is a former charter pilot and applicant in NASA’s Journalist-in-Space Project. An avid proponent of learning to fly, MayCay is the creator of The Diva Flight Experience, which empowers women through aviation. See divaflight.com.
MayCay has produced numerous TV features on aviation, including her personal accounts of flying with General Chuck Yeager; and Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager of Voyager fame. Her many adventures in television include initially learning to fly for a TV assignment; competing in the Air Race Classic- an all-women’s transcontinental air race; and skydiving with the Navy Seals.
MayCay has been published in dozens of magazines. She has covered the great Cross-Canada Centennial of Flight International Air Rally as a Pilot/Journalist. Other adventures entailed her personally piloting two crash survivors back to the Bahamian island that, decades ago, nearly claimed their lives. Her account of this compelling story, featuring the playground of a legendary drug lord, appeared in AOPA PILOT magazine, the world’s most widely read flying publication. Her DVD documentary by the same name, “Return to Norman’s Cay“, is available on Amazon. Norman’s Cay was portrayed in the movie BLOW, starring Johnny Depp. MayCay has co-authored a book about the island’s former Medellin Cartel drug smuggling operation. Released in 2014, Buccaneer – The Provocative Odyssey of Jack Reed – Adventurer, Drug Smuggler, and Pilot Extraordinaire is an award-winning true crime tale that details the life and times of a pilot/smuggler turned infamous prison inmate. Reed’s story has never been given to any other journalist. See jackcarltonreed.com.
MayCay’s TV interviews include Mel Gibson and Oprah. As a long time TV spokesperson, MayCay has appeared in hundreds of commercials spanning local to national coverage. She has traveled the world for her television work.
A professional pilot, MayCay enjoys flying passengers and flight instructing because she says it is a privilege to share the joy of flight with others. Her varied pilot duties include flying for law enforcement as Flight Instructor for the local Sheriff’s Air Support Unit. When not flying the airways, MayCay can be seen on the airwaves as a vibrant freelance TV Host and spokeswoman.
MayCay’s ideology is based on her favorite quotations:
Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Our own life has to be our message“. Amelia Earhart’s “Adventure is worthwhile“. Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘‘Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat“. Cecil Beaton’s “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary“. And finally, from an anonymous source, “In this world it is important to be a candle or a mirror that reflects it.”