Women in Aviation Conference Draws Record Crowd

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Women in Aviation, International held its 25th annual conference last week in Florida, and drew a record crowd of more than 4,500, the group said on Monday. A variety of educational sessions were offered over the three-day event in Lake Buena Vista, and nearly $500,000 in scholarships was awarded to 86 WAI members. Recruiters from a variety of companies held job interviews, and 250 girls, ages 10 to 17, took part in Daughter Day on Saturday. "This was our biggest Daughter Day by far," said WAI president Peggy Chabrian. The girls learned how to read a sectional chart, flew in a simulator, and attended a college fair and career panel.

Four women were inducted into WAI's International Pioneer Hall of Fame during the conference -- Nancy Currie, NASA astronaut and mission specialist on the International Space Station; Beryl Markham, author of aviation classic West with the Night; Sally Ride, NASA astronaut and first U.S. woman in space; and Sheila Scott, a British pilot with more than 100 records, trophies and awards. “Our Pioneer Hall of Fame allows our members to learn about – and sometimes even meet – women who have made significant contributions to aviation and helped open doors for them,” said Chabrian. “Along with the presence of WASP at our conference, we make certain to recognize and honor our past.” Next year's conference is set for March 5 - 7 in Dallas, Texas.