What Are You Watching? ‘Fly Away Home’


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m a member of Women in Aviation International and its local chapter, Nor’easters of Cape Cod Bay, based out of Plymouth Airport. We’re men and women with a passion for introducing young people — boys and girls — to careers in aviation.

Last year we had free aviation movie nights in a hangar at Plymouth Airport, with hot dogs, popcorn, and a featured speaker after the movie. We showed “Top Gun Maverick” with guest speaker and Q and A with Corrie Mays, former Blue Angels naval flight officer, and “Sully,” with guest speaker Capt. Lucy Young, retired American Airlines, who was in the movie and supported the movie flight crew. We enjoyed about 35 girls attending each night.

This year we’re going to show one movie on March 22 or 23, depending on hangar availability, and we’re voting on whether to show “Fly Like a Girl” or “Fly Away Home,” so I watched both of them this week.

“Fly Like a Girl” is a documentary on women who fly, how they came to their passion, and what they did with it. I’ll never forget some of the women I met through this film; they’re incredible. I was especially impressed by a Black woman who became a military helicopter pilot, saving American lives in Iraq. The women (and girls) alternate throughout the film talking about their first introduction to flight, and sometimes ending with where they are today, retired with young children, or receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor, and still inspiring young people with their accomplishments. But there is no great story line, a missed opportunity.

I’ve voted for “Fly Away Home” (1996), starring Anna Paquin (14 years old) and Jeff Daniels. It follows a father and daughter adopting 16 geese who think the little girl is their mother, as they teach the geese to fly, and ultimately lead them from Canada to North Carolina, each of them flying an ultralight plane built by the father. It’s a feel-good, happy-ending movie, and I thought it well worth the watch. I don’t know why I waited so long.