Flight Program Gets Girls Exposed to Aviation

June 28, 2014

Women Can Fly, a volunteer organization, promotes women of all ages to get up in the air. Currently only six percent of the pilots in the U.S. are women. Women Can Fly hopes to change that.

“We want them to know that this isn't a male dominated career, there's no reason for that,” says Banu Cole, research scientist and event coordinator. “It's possible for all women.”

The CHO airport hosted the Women Can Fly event, where 220 women and girls signed up to learn more about what it's like behind the controls of a plane.

For Doris Gatewood, a flight instructor in Warrenton, she has 20 years of experience in the cockpit and it excited about being able to show women what it's like.

“It's definitely dear to my heart and I started as a teenager and there weren't a lot of girls that I could relate to,” says Gatewood. “So I just love that younger people and any ages are coming to learn about aviation.”

Flight instructors took the girls up in the air and gave them the opportunity to take control, but it wasn't always a smooth ride.

“When you pull back and go forward it would go up and down and the wind would bounce the plane a bit,” says Melanie Turner, flight participant. “It was pretty cool.”

“I was just thrilled to see her up there, so I was just in the back seat enjoying that,” says Christina Turner, mother of Melanie.

“I've never flown in a small plane and to see the University of Virginia where I work, it was fun to fly over and see all of that,” says Linda Bryant. “It was an awesome flight.”

After they touched down they were presented with a first flight certificate, giving hope to a new era of pilots who know that the sky is the limit

For more information on Women Can Fly, click on the link under the picture.

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