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WAI chapters hold special day for girls WAI chapters hold special day for girls

A young participant tries on pilot gear at the Girls in Aviation Day event at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina. Photo courtesy Sarina Houston.Women in Aviation chapters in the United States, Canada, Africa, and other locations spent Sept. 26 sharing the excitement of aviation with girls and women.

Girls in Aviation Day, a day of aviation-related activities, provided participants with a broad range of activities, including tours of air traffic control facilities, career presentations, and hands-on activities such as flying simulators and building model airplanes. It is an offshoot of successful events held at previous Women in Aviation conferences.

Delta Flight 8877 earned a special call sign for the day—WING 1 (Women Inspiring Our Next Generation). The airline’s “first-ever, all-girls charter flight,” staffed by a female flight crew, carried more than 130 girls ages 12 to 18 years from Minneapolis to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. The passengers included retired Capt. Joy Walker, who in 1973 became Delta’s first female pilot. The participants spent the day learning about aviation and aerospace career opportunities and met astronauts Jeanette Epps and Jan Davis.

Forty-eight Women in Aviation chapters in 25 states and seven countries participated in Girls in Aviation Day, according to Women in Aviation. Additionally, 28 states proclaimed Sept. 26 as Girls in Aviation Day.

The organization has set Sept. 24, 2016, for the next Girls in Aviation Day.

On Sept. 27, the Sugarloaf Chapter of the International Organization of Women Pilots, Frederick, Maryland, hosted an aviation day for students at Visitation Academy in Frederick. The event was held at AOPA’s National Aviation Community Center at Frederick Municipal Airport and supported by the AOPA Chapter of Women in Aviation.

Some 20 girls, mothers, and fathers climbed inside airplanes, flew flight simulators, and went aloft in volunteers’ airplanes. “That…was…awesome!” one young participant proclaimed, fists in the air, after she had climbed out of a Cessna 182.

AOPA Communications staff

Topics: Pilots, Learn to Fly, Women in Aviation International

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