From early pioneers to current industry leaders and innovators, the Women’s Wing at AOPA Aviation Summit will shine a spotlight on women in aviation.
Attendees will have a chance to find out more about women who flew military aircraft during World War II and those who now hold positions at cutting-edge companies and at the top of their field. This year’s offerings include daily mini-forums, chances to fly a full-motion flight simulator, “behind the scenes” movie presentations, daily prize drawings, and more.
AOPA launched Women’s Wing at AOPA Aviation Summit 2009 in a forum room. Based on positive feedback, this year it will be on the exhibit hall floor at the convention center. Attendees can stop by to Booth #217 to “get answers, get connected, and get inspired”—and experience a full-motion simulator flight in a Redbird FMX, sponsored by Redbird Flight Simulations and King Schools.
The wing, Hosted by Women in Aviation, International, includes events every day. On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, meet Women Airforce Service Pilot Bee Haydu, one of the women who paved the way for future female military pilots, in “Women in Aviation History” at 1:15 p.m. and at a book signing at 1:45 p.m.
In the evening, Haydu and Air Force Maj. Samantha Weeks, the second woman to fly in the elite Thunderbirds demonstration team, will join industry leaders in downtown Long Beach for the “Women Leaders in Aviation” dine-around dinner. Women in Aviation, International President Dr. Peggy Chabrian, U.S. National Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff, and Terrafugia Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Anna Mracek Dietrich are also featured guests at the dinner; seats are limited, and tickets are available for purchase online through Oct. 29. Those five notable women will also share their stories in a forum Friday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m., in Room #204 in the convention center; and attendees can find Wagstaff in the exhibit hall for an autograph session Saturday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m.
To give many women pilots a chance to connect with one another, Women in Aviation, International, is again hosting its Connect Breakfast Nov. 12 at 7:30 a.m. in the Royal Salon on the Main Promenade Level of the Queen Mary. Tickets are available for purchase through WAI at 937/839-4647.
New to Women’s Wing are “behind the scenes” movie presentations each day, which kick off with a presentation about “Pearl” Nov. 11 at noon. Pearl Carter Scott was awarded a pilot certificate in 1928 at the age of 13. On Nov. 12, attendees will have a look behind the scenes of the documentary “Flyabout,” which looks at writer, director, and producer Monika Petrillo’s trip to circumnavigate the continent of Australia in an airborne version of the Aboriginal spiritual journey, the “walkabout.” The aviation adventures continue Nov. 13 with a presentation on “The Legend of Pancho Barnes.” Florence "Pancho" Barnes was a rival of Amelia Earhart's who became Hollywood's first female stunt pilot.
For those looking into aviation careers or just thinking about flying, Women’s Wing will provide the miniforums “Aviation Career Opportunities” Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. and “Everything You Wanted to Know about Learning to Fly but were Afraid to Ask” Nov. 13 at 1:15 p.m., both hosted by Chabrian. Find out more about the events at Women’s Wing during AOPA Aviation Summit online. —AOPA ePublishing staff