Women in Aviation Worldwide Fly it Forward event
WOAW Fly It Forward® Challenge
Recently I had an opportunity to chat with Ronnie Bogart who is organizing an event with pilot Dianna Stanger for the Women of Aviation Worldwide “Fly it forward®” event at the Northern Colorado Regional airport the week of March 5-11th.
“Since women only make up about 5% of pilots,” Ronnie stated, “This event is an opportunity to expose girls and women to the field of aviation. Not just as pilots, but as mechanics, airport planners and air traffic controllers.”
In 2009, an airport transport pilot, Mireille Goyer was searching for events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first female world wide licensed pilot. Raymonde de Laroche earned her license on March 8, 1910. Dismayed over the fact that there were no events commemorating this event Mireille was determined to not let this important milestone for women pilots to go unrecognized. Mireille launched “Fly It Forward”, a global campaign designed to honor the pioneers by inspiring the next generation of women aviators.
“There are a lot of girls out there who would not be able to fly in any kind of an airplane and this exposes them to that opportunity.” Ronnie continued. “They have seen a young lady who took her first ride in a plane 2 years ago and now she is in flight school. There was also a young lady that wanted to become a nurse, now wants to become a flight nurse.”
This week all over the world airports are participating, either a day or multiple days, depending on availability to give flights. The organization also recognizes friendliest airports as well as awards for most flights by a female and most flights for male during that week.
Ronnie first volunteered last year at the event in Albuquerque for her friend, pilot Dianna Stanger. Dianna has done this event for many years and has been awarded the Most Dedicated Pilot Award, several times. Dianna has been an avid aviator for over 20 years and says “these are my favorite flights of the year.”
They had 1,000 reservations within the first 12 hours, and since then they have several pilots who are volunteering so they are opening up the wait list, which may reach 600 more. They have pilots coming from Colorado Springs, Nebraska, California, as well as the local area. Debbie Rihn-Harvey, 7 times award winning acrobatic pilot will be giving flights here as well. There will be vendor booths including the 99’s, Whirly-Girls, Denver International Airport and CDOT Aviation division is brining a red bird simulator among others. Northern Colorado Regional Airport has been key in the success of this event.
The event is not open to the public but they are in need of volunteers. They need help inside and outside of the hanger. The need for volunteers is two fold. Those who have knowledge of aviation as well as those who can help register the girls and do paperwork.
Follow this link to volunteer: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094badac28a5fb6-flywoaw
Dianna Stanger’s event will possibly be in California next year, but anyone can plan to organize their own event, in any community. Go to www.womenofaviationweek.org for more information.