About Us

Powder Puff Pilot Takes Off

Sue Hughes Next to Plane

Powder Puff Pilot was conceived with a simple question posed by an 8-year-old girl who, upon expressing an interest in taking flying lessons, asked, "Do they have a logbook that's pink?"

Of course not! Pilot gear is designed for men, since they comprise 94% of the total pilot population. The discussion that ensued among my women pilot friends as to whether they would buy a pink logbook—if there was such as thing—resulted in a resounding "yes!" They'd also buy a flight bag, flight jacket, and other pilot gear if it came in pink, and so the merchandising began.

Powder Puff Pilot is dedicated to attracting women and girls to the thrills of aviation, helping women pilots identify themselves with pride, and honoring the courageous women pioneers who paved our way. The term "Powder Puff" was coined by humorist and aviation advocate Will Rogers when he referred to the Women's Air Derby, an annual transcontinental air race inaugurated in 1929, as the "Powder Puff Derby." Since then, "Powder Puff" has come to refer to a male-dominated activity reserved for females.

Powder Puff Pilot in Command

Powder Puff Pilot is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Aero LLC, a limited liability company owned by Dale and Sue Hughes. A pilot since 1996 and flight instructor since 2001, Sue has enjoyed a varied career as an aviation technical writer and instructional designer. In her life before aviation, she dabbled as a teacher, tour guide, museum exhibit manager, swim instructor, and baseball/softball umpire. Sue taught her husband Dale to fly several years ago, and have since purchased a Piper Arrow that they use for business and pleasure.