Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diana Heaton, Docent on the Go, Museum of Flight Seattle

The following profile appeared in the Jan/Feb issue of Aloft, the magazine of the Seattle Museum of Flight.

Diana Heaton, a retired IBM’er, likes to be active. She’s been a ski patroller, autocross racer and is still a competition water skier. And she loves to be around vintage aircraft. That is what drew Diana and her husband Dick to the MOF docent program nearly six years and 1200 volunteer hours ago. Diana is at the MOF each Sunday working the stations and leading tours. Her favorite assignment is the Personal Courage wing. As she puts it, “there is just something about those planes!”

In addition to her Sunday hours she has worked on women’s exhibits and enjoyed researching and writing some of the biographies for the “Chasing Horizons: Women in Aerospace” exhibits.

While Diana enjoys sharing her aviation knowledge with others she values the MOF as a personal learning resource for herself. Thirsting to expand her own knowledge base she takes advantage of every opportunity to learn from other volunteers and to attend MOF educational programs.

She and Dick take their interest in aviation with them when they travel. They have made several trips to the Reno Air Races and have thrilled to see and hear the P-51 fighters flash by. To have seen the planes in the air makes standing by the MOF’s new P-51 in the Personal Courage Wing very special.

They have also traveled across England on an aviation history tour, visiting sites that were important to British aviation heritage. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the Duxford Air Show at the Duxford “Aerodrome,” a field that dates back to World War I and is a part of the Imperial War Museum family of sites. “Duxford” is to the British what the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is to Americans. For Diana one of the most inspiring moments at the show was a fly over of ten throaty Spitfire aircraft, loved by all “Brits” for their role in the air Battle of Britain.

The MOF is fortunate to have committed women, like Diana, in the docent corp helping to enrich the visitor experience, one visitor at a time.

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