Yellowknife 'Most Female-Pilot-Friendly'

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The remote northern community of Yellowknife, in Canada's Northwest Territories, has been proclaimed home to the "Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide" after an aviation community effort to introduce girls and women to flying on March 10. Led by Trinity Helicopters pilot Kirsten Brazier, volunteers got more than 400 girls and women up in the air for Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, which is held annually the week of March 8 to coincide with the licensing of the first female pilot, Baroness Raymonde de Laroche. Defending champion Frederick, Md., placed second with 244 flights and had to put others on a waiting list. Organizer Mireille Goyer told AVweb in a podcast interview a total of 1,104 girls and women got a taste of aviation during events held in North America and Europe that day. More important, she said, most of those who flew also got a taste for aviation. "In fact, 92% of our feedback survey respondents said that they would consider becoming involved in aviation as a result of the experience," Goyer said.

The Yellowknife effort was organized and flown by Trinity Helicopters pilot Brazier, Megan Tyler, Derrick Robinson and Robert Ferlisi but got support from 27 local businesses and the Royal Canadian Air Force. Events were also held in Peterborough and Oshawa, Ontario; Boise, Idaho; and Worland, Wyo. Weather scrubbed planned events at Calhoun Flight Center in Texas and in Oregon. This year's event also marked the centennial of the first flight across the English Channel by a woman, American Harriet Quimby, in 1912. More than 100 female-flown aircraft made the crossing March 10. Next year's event will be held March 4-10 and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first space flight by a woman.