Rockettes:  Mentorship and Goal Setting

The Rockettes, a group committed to uplifting and empowering women in the world of gliding, is connecting female aviators. One of their most recent victories is the story of Sophie, a glider pilot from Queensland, who masterfully accomplished a demanding 500km flight. Her success not only demonstrates the importance of precise goal-setting but also highlights the transformative effect of mentorship for pilots at every stage of their journey.

Sophie’s connection with The Rockettes played a crucial role in her journey towards achieving an ambitious 500km flight. In seeking to enhance her gliding skills, Sophie found the guidance she needed within this supportive network. “After talking to Lisa Trotter about goal setting, we decided that flying 500km in a dry LS4 would be a more specific and achievable goal,” Sophie recalls. This decision marked a turning point in her approach, moving away from vague ambitions to setting clear, measurable targets. The Rockettes, known for empowering women in gliding, provided Sophie not only with technical advice but also invaluable moral support. Through their mentorship, she gained the confidence and strategic insights necessary to pursue her goal, underscoring the importance of having a strong support system in achieving such significant feats.

The weekend of October 14-15 presented a mix of opportunities and challenges. Sophie describes the conditions: “The weather looked really good with high cumulus and early starts and late finishes. The only problem was that the cumulus was quite localized around Kingaroy and not across a big enough area to do 500km.” Despite this, Sophie decided to attempt the task, detailing her strategy: “Fly out into the blue, then come back towards Kingaroy and then do the last two legs under 10,000ft cu.”

Sophie faced a moment of doubt halfway through her flight. “About 250km into the flight, I finally reached the cu and climbed up to 11,000ft. This was when I had to make the decision on whether to keep going or turn back to Kingaroy,” she shares. Her determination prevailed, and she continued her journey despite the challenges.

Reaching the final stretch of the flight, Sophie confronted another critical decision. “About 20km from the last turn point (140km to go), I considered again whether I should turn around. But now I was so close to reaching my goal that I just couldn’t bring myself to abandon the task,” she recounts. Despite the difficulties, including a tense moment trying to climb over an airstrip at a low altitude, Sophie persevered.


Reflecting on her accomplishment, Sophie highlights the role of her specific goal in driving her forward: “Setting a specific goal increased my motivation and made achieving it very rewarding. I probably would have just done a shorter task that day if I had not set 500km as a goal for this season.”

Sophie’s story underscores the value of mentorship and support within the gliding community. “Support from other people is really important. I knew that someone would come and pick me up if I landed out.”  she gratefully acknowledges.

Sophie’s success in her 500km flight is a shining example of how clear goals, perseverance, and the supportive environment fostered by The Rockettes can empower women in gliding. Her journey highlights the transformative power of mentorship and the importance of setting specific, challenging objectives in achieving remarkable feats.

Join The Rockettes and Reach New Heights

If Sophie’s story inspires you, consider joining The Rockettes. This vibrant community is not just about gliding; it’s about empowering women to set ambitious goals, overcome challenges, and celebrate each other’s successes. Whether you’re an experienced pilot or just starting, The Rockettes offer a supportive network, valuable mentorship, and resources to help you soar to new heights.  And we’re only just getting started!

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