Girls Take Flight Ottawa
This was the fourth year that the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM), the Rockcliffe Flying Club (RFC) and the Eastern Ontario Chapter of the 99s combined efforts to host events in celebration of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week. On Saturday March 12, the 99s ran the annual Girl Guides Aviation Badge event, where about 70 Girl Guides received classroom theory necessary to obtain their aviation badge, as well as a tour of the Museum. They were also enthralled to hear about the career of Captain Claire Maxwell, a military helicopter pilot and accident investigator.
In addition, the RFC and 99s offered free flights to girls and women who had never flown in a light aircraft before. In spite of a late start due fog, and stronger winds in the afternoon, the volunteer pilots were able to fly 184 excited girls and women, whose pre-flight jitters were surpassed only by their big smiles and “Awesome!” comments on their return. One lady who was quite nervous about the flight but really enjoyed it said: “This wasn’t on my bucket list. But I’m going to go home, put it on the list and then check it off!”
While waiting, the passengers could look around the CASM, visit displays by the Rockcliffe Flying Club and CASARA (Civil Search and Rescue) and talk to representatives from the Air Cadets. All in all, another successful year! While everyone was tired at the end of the day, many were heard to say “Let’s do it again next year”.
Thank you to all the volunteer pilots and ground support personnel and to the 3 participating organizations. And a special shout-out to the Vintage Wings marshalling team for keeping aircraft moving safely and efficiently on the ramp.