Aviatrix Tees

A little side project of mine is designing t-shirts for women pilots. So far I’ve created a few designs, but plan to add more ideas and styles as I have time. Click on over to my Teespring shop and check them out. Proceeds go to support my aerobatics training!



Welcome to the new Sierra Echo Bravo, formerly susanbellfilm. This site is my personal blog of ramblings, projects and now, flying. It is not inclusive of what I spend time doing, but more a collection of things I want to save. As of 2016, I’m writing a lot about my introduction to competitive aerobatics. I currently work as a web[…]

My flying chariot!

My First Contest

My first contest was the Hammerhead Roundup at Borrego Springs in April. My previous post mentioned that I was not flying my practice airplane, and my current instructor Mark was not able to attend. So I went into the contest really not knowing anyone or anything. Strange new world! I competed in Primary, which is the beginners’ category. Categories in[…]


Contest Prep

In less than two weeks, I’ll be flying in my first IAC contest at Borrego Springs, CA. Without my instructor Mark. In someone else’s Super Decathlon. Never having seen a real box from the air. I’ll be fine….is what I keep telling myself. Rewind a week or so. I cannot fly the Super D in which I am training due[…]

This is about 45º inverted.

My Nemesis, the Half Cuban Eight

The Half Cuban Eight is a turn-around figure. It combines a loop and a roll – two basic aerobatic elements. You fly a normal loop up over the top to the 5/8 position, set the downline at a 45º which means you’re flying inverted (the red dashed lines in the Aresti below), do a half roll to upright while continuing[…]

IAC Rules

Judges School

As soon as I announced I wanted to compete in aerobatics, I was told I had to go to IAC judges school. Okay. I mean, I have no intention of actually trying to judge someone else being a newbie, but if you say so, I will. The rationale is that you need to know how you’re being judged to compete.[…]

First flight in a Citabria.

The beginning…

He sits down, rolls his chair over. “We’ve got to talk.” That’s the ominous beginning of my aerobatic journey on December 11, 2015. I’ll back up a bit. In October after the craziest JPL Open House ever, I took a week off and took a flying vacation. I signed up for the first module of Emergency Maneuver Training to work[…]

Alameda Aero 4th of July Float

Flying Songs

I volunteered myself to help out with the Alameda Aero Club’s 4th of July parade float. Besides my main tasks of designing banners and building chicken wire clouds, I said I would come up with a playlist of flying songs to be broadcast from the float. This proved more difficult than thought — you’d think there were hundreds of songs[…]


PGA NMC Member Spotlight

A nice write up about little ‘ol me that appeared in the Producers Guild of America New Media Council newsletter. Member Spotlight – February, 2013 By Elaine Spooner Susan Bell “In film and TV, your product is passive – the audience sits and watches. Add transmedia and it’s become active.” Do you know what a transmedia producer does? What about[…]

“Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into[…]


NASA Social 4 Years

The social power of SpaceTweeps was seen through a self-organized tweetup in honor of the four year anniversary of the first NASA Tweetup at JPL on January 21, 2013. A Facebook group was created to share ideas and develop a schedule of tweets for the day. I created the above image to use as a Facebook or Twitter header during[…]


Flying Lessons

As I announced on Twitter in May, I was so inspired by my trip to Dryden Flight Research Center that I decided to start taking flying lessons with a goal of becoming a private pilot. After much research into what I was getting myself into, I decided to join the Alameda Aero Club based out of Oakland International Airport. My[…]

With the 'Scarecrow' version of Curiosity in the Mars Yard

@ JPL when Curiosity landed on Mars!

Thanks to the amazing program that is NASA Social, I was one of 25 space enthusiasts/tweeps/social media mavens given unprecedented access over three wonderful days at JPL in Pasadena. The event culminated in witnessing the amazing achievement of landing a one-ton rover with pin-point precision on Mars! I got to be there when history was made. How awesome is my[…]


Dryden NASA Social

Time again for another NASA event, this time a very full day at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Airforce Base in California. Any space or flight enthusiast will know that the dry lake bed of Edwards is the location of Chuck Yeager’s breaking of the sound barrier, and thus the first step toward launching people into space (as[…]