Girls in Aviation event returns in-person

MIDDLETON, Wis. — Children are often taught to aim high. One aviation organization took this message a step further today, teaching girls how to fly.

Sunday was the third annual Girls in Aviation event. Hosted at the Morey Airport, the event’s purpose is to inspire girls to consider careers in aviation, a male-dominated field. Today’s event was held by the Four Lakes chapter of Women in Aviation International, and panel member Susan Schwaab says that events like these are vital in building girls’ confidence.

“When I first started flying, I looked high and low for a female pilot,” said Schwaab. “For me, I just had to meet one to know that I could do it.”

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, women currently account for only 8.4% of pilots in America, and 33% of air traffic controllers. Schwaab is hoping to see those statistics change.

 “I hope that girls can just look at all the possibilities they have for their lives and not narrow it down to just a few things,” she said.

Participants today are certainly getting plenty of motivation to reach for the stars.

8-year-old Lauren is an aspiring astronaut. She says this event has helped her to learn more about aeronautics.

“I’ve learned a lot,” said Lauren. “I’ve learned how you know when you’re upside down.”

Although the Girls in Aviation event focused on earth-based air travel, Lauren said she still enjoyed herself.

“I thought it would be like really cool to see all the airplanes,” she said.

It’s the hope of Schwaab that girls like Lauren can find the inspiration to continue to pursue their interests, earthly or otherwise, from events like this.

“Just the exposure, just being able to see female pilots and know its a possibility,” said Schwaab.