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Sexist note highlights importance of Langley's 'Girls Fly Too' event

Kirsten Brazier, organizer of this weekend's The Sky's No Limit — Girls Fly Too event at Langley Regional Airport isn't putting too much weight into the sexist note that a male passenger left for the female captain of a Westjet flight last week.

But the seasoned female pilot of both planes and helicopter does say it does make events like hers that much more important.

She is hoping to bring thousands of girls and women — and men and boys, too — to Langley Regional Airport on Saturday and Sunday to celebrate women in aviation and all the cool things about the flying business.

She already has 1,200 girls and women signed up to take free flights on helicopters and small planes.

The note left for Capt. Carey Smith Steacy of Surrey read: "The cockpit of an airline is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor, not as 'captain.' Proverbs 31. Sorry not PC."

The writer of the note, left on a napkin, said: "I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight!"

Brazier wonders about the mental health of the man, but says it underscores the fact that there are so few female pilots that women in the profession do stand out.

"It gives attention to the absence of women in aviation," she said. And that is the whole point of her volunteering all these hours to bring the largest aviation event to Langley this weekend.

Her hope is that some girls and women will take a flight or meet a seasoned pilot, or get under the hood of a helicopter and get the "flying bug."

Only two per cent of aviation mechanics are female. Only six per cent of commercial pilots are female. There is actually an overall skills shortage in aviation, which is a lucrative career.

There are a lot of ground events going on both days, as well as all the flights. There are plenty of experienced and senior pilots, including a Coast Guard pilot, who will be there. A lot of the events will be held inside the hanger, off 56 Avenue, so even if it's raining, there is plenty to see while staying dry.

The Sky’s No Limit — Girls Fly Too, a free event in celebration of women in aviation, happens at the Langley Regional Airport on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days.

For more information go to girlsfly2.ca  or visit the Facebook page SkysNoLimitGirlsFlyToo. The event will take place on the runway and hangars on the north side (off 56 Avenue). A runway is being shut down for parking as well.

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