There’s something about passionate people that’s attractive and inspiring. I recently stumbled upon just such a combination in the friendship between two very different individuals who happen to share a passion for aviation
Satya Sunkavalli, 27, caught my eye last spring during an event at the local campus of Ivy Tech University. It could have been her diminutive stature or her friendly smile, or the fact that she was one of only three women in the Aviation Maintenance program — or perhaps because she is from India. This bright, eloquent young woman impressed many as she spoke before a crowd gathered for the unveiling of an aircraft donated to the school.
As I got to know Satya, I learned she had discovered a mentor who is a source of inspiration on her journey to become a pilot and, eventually, to build aircraft.
Ninety-year-old Paul Goldsmith welcomed Satya into his company last fall as a newly licensed aircraft mechanic after overseeing her internship at G&N Aviation near Merrillville. The two have developed a close friendship based on mutual respect that spans the generations. Paul and his friend, Musetta Yeager, have opened their home to Satya while she is here on an education visa. Her home is in Tanuka, India.
I recently spent a delightful afternoon talking with Satya, Paul and Musetta, learning about their shared passion for flight and about Paul’s racing career. as well as his upcoming induction into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. To read more about these fascinating individuals, check out the Sunday Life section of KPC Media’s sister papers, The News-Sun, The Star and The Herald Republican.