Women In Aviation Conference Winds Up, Women's History Month Winds Down

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Women In Aviation International wrapped up its conference last weekend with its annual distribution of scholarship awards to dozens of women -- this year's total exceeded $300,000. The awards pay for aviation training and type ratings. About 2,400 people attended the event, held in Cincinnati, Ohio. "Even in these tough times," said WAI President Peggy Chabrian, "there are several companies looking for new employees ... including airlines." Sales of booth space set a record, she said. Meanwhile, events around the country have commemorated women's contributions to aviation as part of Women's History Month. At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in Daytona Beach, Fla., about 500 local schoolgirls were invited to a Women In Aviation program this week. The featured speaker was rocket scientist Natasha Kraus, a 1998 graduate of ERAU's aerospace studies program. Also, former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, veteran of three space shuttle missions and the first American woman to walk in space, will give a public talk tonight on campus. The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, D.C., tonight hosts a talk by Marta Bohn-Meyer, a NASA engineer and aerobatic pilot, and the first female flight engineer to fly aboard an SR-71 Blackbird.