'Girls Fly Too' event was largest of its kind in North America

Uma Lauridsen was one of more that 1,300 girls and women who experienced the magic of flying for the first time on March 8 and 9 at Langley Airport. - Alyssa O
Uma Lauridsen was one of more that 1,300 girls and women who experienced the magic of flying for the first time on March 8 and 9 at Langley Airport.
— image credit: Alyssa O'Dell/Langley Times

The Sky’s No Limit — Girls Fly Too, held at Langley Regional Airport last month, has made history as the largest event of its kind in the world.

The Girls Fly Too event drew more than 6,000 people to the airport on March 8 and 9 to celebrate women in aviation.

A total of 1,310 girls and women of all ages experienced the magic of their first flight in a small aircraft.  Five helicopters and five small planes from the Fraser Blues Formation Demonstration Team provided the introductory flight experience free of charge.

The Girls Fly Too event won the Global Aviation title for introducing the most girls and women to aviation during Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.

Langley Airport also won the “Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide” title.

“This is a monumental achievement,” said Kirsten Brazier, pilot and organizer of the award-wining event.  Previous Girls Fly Too events Brazier has organized were held in Yellowknife, and also won awards.

“Kirsten Brazier who organized the event in Langley . . . elevated the concept to a level never accomplished before. Leading more than 200 volunteers, Brazier co-ordinated a record-setting 1,310 first flights, which makes the Langley Regional Airport, the Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide in 2014, and makes Brazier, the winner of the Event Organizer Contest’s $1,000 prize,” writes the press release from Women of Aviation Worldwide.

Aside from the exhilarating first flight experience, girls and women of all ages had the opportunity to get hands-on with aircraft, operate a rivet gun to make a keepsake keychain and explore a line-up of aircraft.

An award ceremony will be held Friday, April 11 at 2 p.m. at the Canadian Museum of Flight at the Langley Regional Airport (Hangar #3, off 216 St.). People are invited to come celebrate when Brazier, and other organizers receive the world trophies for Women of Aviation Worldwide Week 2014.

“Come say hello to some of the pilots that flew during this amazing event. Share your enthusiasm and help get us revved up for next year,” said Brazier.

She promises to outdo herself next year with an even bigger and better event, with the potential to take even more women into the sky.

Brazier, who holds a commercial pilot and helicopter licence and has flown as a bush pilot and helicopter pilot for the past 20 years, created this event to encourage and get females interested in the aviation industry.

Currently, only two per cent of aircraft engineers are women and only six per cent of commercial pilots are women.

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