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Esther of Silver Spring, MD to represent the next generation of American women pilots in Europe

At a time when most women’s opportunities were often limited to raising a family, a few adventurous women set off to demonstrate that women were capable of achieving far more.

In 1910, Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman to earn a pilot license; in 1911, Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; in 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel and Hélène Dutrieu the first woman to pilot a seaplane.

Today’s women are equally adventurous and passionate.

In December, we announce a video contest for American women. The prize? An all expenses paid trip to represent the next generation of American women pilots at the “Across the Channel: Women Unifying Nations” event taking place simultaneously at the England’s Headcorn Aerodrome and France’s Le Touquet Airport on March 10, 2012.

The videos were amazing and two finalists, Esther from Maryland and Elizabeth from Florida, emerged. Then it was time to vote for the winner. If doubts existed about how motivated the finalists were, there were erased by the unbelievable website traffic that they generated by encouraging people to vote for them.

After carefully reviewing all available statistics and ensuring that nobody voted more than once, Esther French, a young journalist from Silver Spring, MD, who discovered flying at last’s year record setting “Fly It Forward” event at the Frederick Airport, MD, edged ahead of Elizabeth Williamson, a TV production technician from Altamonte Springs, FL.

We are therefore pleased to announce that Esther is the winner of the video contest and will serve as the official representative for the next generation of American women pilots at the event as well as the American reporter at the event. You will be able to follow her adventures by clicking on “Daily Trip Report” in this website.

More than 13,000 visitors trying to vote caused some technical issues and a lot of frustrations. We did our best to maintain the integrity of the contest in the face of adversity.

Taking into account this occurrence, we offered to our runner up, Elizabeth, a choice of prizes: the flight lesson as listed in the original prize description or accommodations during the event and a flight across the channel during the “Across the Channel: Women Unifying Nations” event on March 10. We are delighted to announce that Elizabeth has chosen to travel to Europe and will take part of the event. Europe will be delighted to welcome more American guests.

Congratulations to all the participants!

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