Girls – Fly It Forward
The smiling faces on our participants could not be dampened by the weather; nor that of the pilots and ground crew who pulled together to make memories with 57 new friends of aviation. We had set a goal to fly 107 girls this year. There were over 120 tickets reserved through the Eventbrite site, but due to the record rainfall and flooding across the state Saturday was nearly a wash out.
But there again, the enthusiasm of volunteers and participants won out. We managed to fly 37 girls on Saturday between rain showers, some flights remained in the pattern in order to maintain VFR conditions and the girls were thrilled. After a light rain shower the sky’s lifted for venturing away from the airport.
Our volunteer pilots were committed to opening the opportunity for our participants to take the first to solo challenge. So four of our pilots agreed to offer flights on Sunday as well, and we picked up two additional volunteer pilots. By them going over the top we were able to add another 20 girls to the flight roster.
The NOLA 99s hope that some of our participants will go on to take the first to solo challenge and are encouraging them to do so by adding an additional $500 scholarship for flight lessons for the first to solo from our group of participants.
Mrs. Wells may just be the one to do it… she attended our event with her mother and four daughters and while waiting for the weather to break, she mentioned that she had wanted to learn to fly for 15 years!
We heard many accounts of girls wanting to become pilots, but most did not come until after their first flight! Through this event we hope to inspire more girls to become pilots. It is also important to note that although the likely hood for only a small percentage of the will go on to become pilots, they have at a minimum experienced something that has challenged their perception of how big they can dream and hopefully breaking a cycle of limiting beliefs.