Take wing in Women's Wing

October 21, 2009

simulatorGet connected, get inspired, and get answers in the Women’s Wing at AOPA Aviation Summit.

The AOPA Women’s Wing, in rooms 11 and 12 on the main floor of the Tampa Convention Center, is hosted by Women in Aviation, International (WAI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests. The wing will feature a meet-and-greet area for special guest appearances and autographs, a flight simulator with flight instructors there to help you see what it’s like to fly, and daily drawings, in addition to presentations geared toward women in aviation and nonpilots interested in flying.

Visit the Women’s Wing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day to hear the inspiring stories of women who have excelled in aviation careers, connect with WAI members and other pilots, and introduce a nonpilot friend to flying.

Looking for some aviation inspiration? Join Dr. Peggy Chabrian, president and founder of WAI, and Martha King, co-owner of King Schools, for the forum “Women Leaders in Aviation,” on Friday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 3 p.m. Chabrian and King will moderate a panel of women who have taken different paths to career fulfillment within aviation. Jessica Cox, the first person without arms to obtain a sport pilot certificate; Arlynn McMahon, 2009 National CFI of the Year and vice president and director of marketing for Aero-Tech Inc.; Debby Rihn-Harvey, Southwest Airlines captain, national aerobatic champion, and flight school owner; and Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president and assistant to the president, will encourage you to follow your dreams.

With mini-forums like “Everything You Wanted to Know about Learning to Fly but were Afraid to Ask,” the wing provides a perfect introduction to the world of aviation for men and women alike. Other mini-forums include a look at women in aviation yesterday, today, and tomorrow; a discussion of career opportunities; and more.

Visitors can try out the flight simulator, provided by Summit flight simulator sponsor Frasca International, to experience what it’s like to fly a Piper Warrior. You’ll have an opportunity to learn from the best: McMahon will be at the simulator from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

While you’re in the Women’s Wing, check out an autograph session with U.S. National Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff; a book signing with Susan Butler, author of East to the Dawn: The Life of Amelia Earhart; and presentations from fitness specialist Mike Torchia of Operation Fitness and author, actor, and producer Montel Williams. Bo Dietl, chairman and CEO of Bo Dietl and Associates, will present a mini-forum, “Protect Yourself, Your Identity, and Your Personal Finances from Attack.” Get flight training materials and giveaways in the Women’s Wing, including WAI’s Aviation for Women magazine, AOPA Flight Training magazine, and brochures from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation.

For a more personal connection with leading women in aviation, meet face-to-face with Chabrian and other members of the WAI staff at the WAI Connect breakfast on Friday from 8 to 9 a.m. The breakfast is a great way to connect with fellow WAI members and aviation enthusiasts. Purchase tickets to the breakfast for $28 through Nov. 2 by calling WAI at 937/839-4647 or at the door for $32.

Summit takes place Nov. 5 through 7 in Tampa, Fla., and expands on the popular AOPA Expo. Register for Summit today!