Girls fly high above Oshawa

Jackie and Sarah sit in a small aircraft during 'Girls Take Flight', ready to see Oshawa from the sky.
Jackie and Sarah sit in a small aircraft during ‘Girls Take Flight’, ready to see Oshawa from the sky.

Amelia Earhart once said that you’ve never seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.

For more than 200 women, that statement came true during Women of Aviation Week, celebrated March 2-8.

Oshawa Airport hosted ‘Girls Take Flight’, an event encouraging more women to explore a career in aviation, on March 7 – 8. Eager participants could sign up for a chance to explore the skies with volunteer pilots for a 5 – 10 minute flight.

Pilots flew three women at a time in the small four-person aircrafts on a route heading south to the General Motors plant, then circling back north before landing at the airport for the next trip.

Jackie Book, an experienced pilot for 17 years, participated in the event and loves all aspects of flying. “The people that you get to fly with, the places that you get to go and obviously the aircraft you get to fly – phenomenal,” she said. “I’m so happy to be able to influence young ladies coming into the flying career.”

Due to the wind and the low ceiling (cloud height above the ground) Saturday afternoon, not all participants were able to take the trip high in the sky, but organizers of the event got as many as they could up in the air.

Several flights continued on Sunday afternoon, when the weather was clearer but quite windy.

“Here we’re obviously promoting ladies in aviation, young girls – trying to get more ladies into flying,” said Book. “It’s a great career and unfortunately we don’t have that many ladies compared to men in the program… I love the turnout, it’s great.”

Minacs was one of the sponsors for the event, and participants could enter a draw to win a $2,000 scholarship towards a career in flight from Minacs.

Women of Aviation week coincides each year with International Women’s Day, and is celebrated across North America.

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