Sunny skies and free airplane rides brought smiles to the faces of many at the annual Women Can Fly event at Hampton Roads Executive Airport on Saturday, June 11. It was the first exposure to aviation and possible careers in the field for a large contingent of attendees.
The event started in Virginia in 2013 and is co-sponsored by the Ninety-Nines Inc. (International Organization of Women Pilots). Saturday featured the Civil Air Patrol, the local EAA chapter as well as several women pilots who fly in the military. A total of 100 people received free airplane rides from nine pilots who volunteered for the event.
“We are hoping to get more women attracted to the aviation field,” Coordinator Linda Mathias said. “There’s a big demand for pilots now and in the future. Currently only seven percent of all pilots are women, so we are trying to grow that number.”
The Virginia Department of Aviation was on site with its educational trailer. Public Relations and Education staff Betty Wilson, David Halstead and Kim Anderson answered questions from individuals and provided free promotional items. Attendees received aviation calendars, ambassador passports, aeronautical charts, airport directories, aviation coloring books and airplane erasers.
If you missed Women Can Fly in Hampton Roads, there will be another opportunity to attend the event at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach on September 10. Participants are encouraged to sign up early as flights will be given on a first come, first serve basis.
Story credit: Virginia Dept. of Aviation; https://doav.virginia.gov/calendar-and-news/news/2022-may/2022-women-can-fly-held-at-hampton-roads-executive-airport/