The Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots

Professional Pilot Leadership Initiative  (PPLI)

The Ninety-Nines developed a very special program to support and help members to reach their goals as professional pilots. The mentoring and leadership program started in 2004 and has graduated over 70 members. The program was the creative idea of Jenny Beatty, and she co-founded it with Laura Smith, a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Jenny currently flies the B737-800 for American Airlines.

Intregal to the program is the concept that each of us can help a pilot who follows just a few steps behind us. They mentor another pilot while in the program – this is required to graduate. The one-on-one mentoring is a unique way to work together, and both mentor and mentee gain valuable information to enhance their careers.



The Professional Pilot Leadership

Initiative (PPLI) aims to accelerate the advancement of women in all pilot professions,

facilitate mentoring, and enhance our leadership role in the aviation community. The

program provides highly motivated 99s with the tools to develop their careers and

leadership abilities. Through guided activities and formal mentoring partnerships, it

strengthens and expands the network of women pilots.


This highly-structured, formal mentoring program is unique. The mentor and mentee will

communicate on a weekly basis to discuss the mentoring prompts and guided activities.

Participants must commit to meeting the program expectations for the entire duration of

the 18-24 month program.


The program consists of 3 phases:


Captain Phase

In the first five-month session, you are the Captain setting your own course. You will create a formal Flight Plan. This is your plan for achieving short term career goals and

developing leadership and career skills. The Captains’ Circle The Captains’ Circle provides peer mentoring in an email-based discussion group. You also continue making progress on your Flight Plan and your Leadership Activities while in the Captains’ Circle.


Navigator Phase

Now you can help steer another woman pilot along her path. You will give guidance, support, and encouragement as your Captain develops a plan to pursue her goals. You will also continue progressing on your Flight Plan and complete your Leadership Activities in this last session of the PPLI.

Leadership Activities

During your time in the PPLI you will work on developing your leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills through giving back and volunteering for the Ninety-Nines and the aviation community.


How to apply

If you are a 99s member with at least a commercial certificate pursuing a professional

pilot career, or you are an established professional who wants to take your career to

the next level, this program is designed for you. Please read the Fact Sheet for a listing of

the program requirements.


These links will get you directly to the Fact Sheet and application form:

• Fact Sheet:

• Application:

Application deadlines:

July 31st and January 31st


Editor’s Note:  visit

Click on (About the Organization)

Scroll down to 99 News Magazine.  You will find pdfs of recent issues and stores about PPLI pilot participants.



 Jenny Beatty, Captain for American Airlines.

Jenny designed the program and it has been a tremendous success.

About the Author

Chicago, Illinois

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