Miss Vermont made a grand entrance as she piloted an airplane to arrive at the 2017 Miss America pageant in New Jersey.
Erin Connor landed at the Atlantic City airport wearing her grandfather’s WWII uniform shirt after flying herself and two others from Burlington, Vermont.
She’s had her pilot’s licence since 16 and completed the 350 mile flight in 2.5 hours with one pit-stop in upstate New York.
The beauty queen flew in a Piper Arrow plane over the Hudson River and even got a prime view of the Statue of Liberty and New York City skyline.
The small plane didn’t have room, however, for the half-dozen evening gowns she’ll need when preliminary competition begins next week. She said her dad drove them down from Vermont.
‘It’s was a great day to fly,’ said Connor. ‘What a great way to start off my 2018 Miss America journey.’
Erin Connor is the reigning Miss Vermont and will compete in the 97th annual Miss America pageant
Miss Vermont made quite an entrance when flew herself and two others to the compeition in Atlantic City, New Jersey
The beauty queen has had her pilot’s license since she was 16 years old and said it was a great day for flying
The flight took 2.5 hours with a stop in upstate New York. They even got to fly over the Hudson River the Statue of Liberty
The flight was an aim at emphasizing her platform: ‘Tailwinds: training a new generation of women scientists.’
‘I thought, ”What’s a better way to highlight my platform of encouraging women to enter into STEM fields and aviation than to fly down myself?”’ Connor told The Press.
Co-piloting with the beauty queen was Vermont Flight Academy board member Doug White.
‘Erin has been a good driving force with the Vermont Flight Academy to get more girls interested in flying. You can see her excitement for flying and it’s great for the programs,’ he said.
Connor flew a small Piper Arrow plane from Burlington, Vermont to Atlantic City, New Jersey with two others on board
She was greeted at the airport by friend and former Miss Vermont Caroline Bright, now an American Airlines flight attendant
‘ She believed she could, so she did’ Connor’s platform is: ‘Tailwinds: training a new generation of women scientists’
Maria Menounos-TV and radio host and author
Nina Davuluri-former Miss America
Thomas Rhett- vocalist
Molly Sims- author, actress and model
Jordin Sparks- recording artist and actress
Jess Cagle- People magazine Editor in Chief
Meeting Connor at the airport was her father, Paul, and friend Caroline Bright, former Miss Vermont 2010.
Bright not only shares the title with Connor, but also the love for flying. Bright works as a flight attendant for American Airlines.
‘It’s so cool that she could do this,’ Bright said. ‘She’s not the first Miss Vermont with a pilot’s license, but we believe she’s the first ever contestant to fly herself to Miss America.’
Miss Vermont is one of 51 contestants who will be competing in the 97th Miss America pageant for three days of preliminaries followed by the nationally televised finale on ABC on September 10.
She is one of 51 other contestants who will be competing for the title of Miss America. The finale will be broadcast live on ABC on September 10