5,703 Girls Take First Flight
A total of 5,703 girls and women all over the world took their first flights in airplanes during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week in early March. In a news release, organizer Mireille Goyer said more than 26,000 people took part in events at 96 locations on four continents, including Australia for the first time this year. Many of them held the Fly It Forward events in which girls and women who had never flown in a small aircraft got a free flight. "Changing perceptions and sparking vocations is the goal of the week," said Goyer. "The Fly It Forward Challenge encourages entrants to offer girls and women with no prior connection with the industry, an opportunity to try various aviation activities, hands-on."
More than $12,000 worth of donated prizes were awarded and event organizers competed for various honors. Langley, B.C., Canada, a suburb of Vancouver, earned the title of Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide with an event that attracted 6,000 people and provided flights for 1,310 girls and women. Calhoun Air Center in Victoria, Texas, earned the title of Most Female Pilot Friendly Training Center Worldwide with events at three locations that flew 460 participants. Next year's events will be held March 2-8 and will commemorate the first air combat flight by a woman, Marie Marvingt, who flew a bombing mission against Germany in 1915.