By: Heather Murtagh
Females interested in aviation can get more information at one of a number of events held in San Carlos next week celebrating the Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.
Today, about 6 percent of pilots are female in most developed countries, according to the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide. Similarly, the percentage of female aircraft mechanics is less than 3 percent and female aeronautical engineers make up about 9 percent of their field. The week was created in 2010 to encourage “awareness and outreach celebrating women of aviation and their contribution to the betterment of the air and space industry.”
This year’s celebration will include a number of events locally through the San Carlos Flight Center. Women and girls will have a chance to learn about aviation prospects — like job opportunities or groups — or simply get more information about the field, said Marketing and Events Manager Terry Fiala.
Fiala said anyone who comes in and simply asks for information is brave. Most people wouldn’t know what questions to ask, she said. The hope is to create a welcoming atmosphere for those interested to come in, meet nice people and learn a little more.
From March 6 through March 9, the San Carlos Flight Center will host an aviation career panel, movie night, open house and offer free introductory flights to women and girls who have never experienced flight in a small airplane.
Among the San Carlos Flight Center instructors who participants might meet are instructors Sue Ballew and Lisa Dyball. Both came to aviation in different ways. Dyball grew up around it. Her father learned to fly when they moved into the mountains, an easier commute to his job. Ballew, on the other hand, was in a different career when she found aviation. They’ve both been involved with aviation in a variety of ways despite their differences in finding it. Both are also excited about sharing something they love with other women.
Women in Aviation International Week is celebrated during the week of March 8, which marks the anniversary of the first female pilot license worldwide earned by Raymonde de Laroche in 1910 as well as International Women’s Day, first observed March 8, 1911, according to the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide. The nonprofit consortium tracks all activities associated with Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. Started in 2010, the week grew last year to be celebrated in 30 countries on four continents.
All events are free and require an RSVP. For more information, or to sign up for events, visit http://sancarlosflightcenter.com/woaw. For more information contact San Carlos Flight Center at 946-1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. San Carlos Flight Center, 655 Skyway Road, Suite 215, San Carlos.
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week Activities at San Carlos Flight Center
• Careers in aviation panel at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 — An interactive discussion with women aviation professionals, including air traffic controller, airport manager, mechanic, corporate pilot, flight instructor and more.
• Movie night at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8 — A social gathering to enjoy food, refreshments and an aviation-related movie.
• Open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 9 — Gather at the airport, meet women pilots, participate in fun activities and experience something new. Lunch is included when you RSVP.
• Free introductory flights Wednesday, March 6 through Saturday, March 9 — Women and girls who have never experienced a flight in a small airplane can sign up for an introductory flight around the Bay Area with a safe and professional woman pilot.