Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Women Of Aviation Week in the Record Books


So it's over! There's my fourth Women Of Aviation Week crossed out on my calendar! This year, I worked as U.S Team Leader and the event coordinator for the WOAW Opening Ceremony. I had passed on the reigns of my "baby" the Frederick, MD Women Fly it Forward event to the capable hands of the Sugarloaf Chapter of the 99s so I could better focus my efforts as U.S Team Leader.
This year, I had three great ladies help as regional Team Leaders, Suzanne, Jen and Jenn. Due to that, we increased the number of events offered throughout the United States!

As you may have read here, the day before the Opening Ceremony started out with a lot of worry and rushing to make alternate plans. A large snowstorm would be entering the area and threatening the closure of our event venue. Quickly, plan B fell into place as we learned that night that the museum would be closing. Unfortunately, with closures came airline cancellations as well and we lost our event host, Nadia Marcinko, and another aerobatic guest, Anna Serbinenko, who would not make it to plan B. The remaining aviatrices (including a surprisingly calm event coordinator aka me) enjoyed dinner and drinks out before the first flakes began to fall.

The following morning, I dug us out of half a foot of snow and awaited our 4 wheel drive taxis to take us to plan B: the AOPA Live Studio. A huge thanks to Paul and Warren at AOPA Live for being so accommodating and helping us film a one of a kind panel of aerobatic women. Special guests were Melissa Pemberton of Pemberton Aerosports, Jacquie Warda of Jacquie B Airshows and wingwalker Jana McWhorter of the Flying Circus. What fun it was to spend the day (and weekend!) with these remarkable women! You can watch the live feed of the panel here.

Tuesday, day two of Women Of Aviation Week, I joined the founder of WOAW, Mireille, to meet and greet ladies that AOPA President Mark Baker would fly. Each girl received a pink WOAW wristband, much like you would get at Oshkosh from Mireille and me after the flight. You can read more about the day here.

Wednesday, day three, we premiered on the WOAW Livestream account, a one of a kind interview of three time around the world flyer CarolAnn Garrett with Geraldine "Jerrie" Mock, the first woman to fly around the world. This is such an amazing interview, you can just hear the love and passion for her flight in Jerrie's voice. Listen to it here.

The week went by quickly and it was soon time for Women Fly it Forward in Frederick. The theme was "Passport to Adventure" and each kid who attended received a passport to have filled with stamps at different stations throughout the airport. Once they received ten stamps, they earned a prize. Stations included airplane flights, flight simulators, learning the phonetic alphabet and (my station) a pretend runway. At the pretend runway that was laid out in painters tape on a hangar floor, myself and Jill Tallman from AOPA acted as ground control and tower directing kids along the taxi way and for takeoff. The best part of this is that I brought our pup, Turbo, with me dressed as an airplane. The kids loved guiding him through the "airport" and running on "takeoff" with him.

After three years of running Women Fly it Forward, I was pretty burned out. So, I insisted on only staying for a morning volunteer shift. However, I ended up enjoying myself and socializing until the end of the event. It was very enjoyable talking to new and old pilot friends as well as participants attending the event. I ended up staying five hours past the point I said I would leave! It makes quite a difference not running around like a chicken with my head cut off. The event concluded with a plane pull by the Frederick Roller Derby, a new and fun activity for this year's event.

Alas, another Women Of Aviation Week is over. Devoted organizers are tallying their flight totals and submitting photos to WOAW HQ. Soon, a new Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport award will be announced. Who will it be? Regardless, I know I smiled a lot throughout the week and witnessed many more. These smiles are dreams forming...all a part of Women Of Aviation Week!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Nice work as usual. You certainly pulled off a great event (and some darn good logistics) this time 'round.

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