To celebrate 100 years of female pilots in combat, Fly It Forward® pilots will give free introductory flights to female military personnel and their daughters during the upcoming 6th annual Fly It Forward® challenge organized by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (IWOAW).
Since 2010, pilots from 37 countries on five continents have given free first flight experiences to nearly 10,000 girls and women (one fifth of the estimated female pilot population worldwide) and welcomed 40,000 more to aviation facilities as part of the Fly It Forward® challenge. Their goal is to encourage girls and women to consider aviation as a hobby or a career and improve gender balance in the industry. At the end of 2013, approximately 5% of all commercial pilots were females.
Women have never hesitated to lay down their lives for their countries. During WWI, Marie Marvingt heroically flew over a German military base in occupied territory to bomb it and, in doing so, became the first woman to fly in combat, worldwide. To salute the women who have served and thank those who are serving today, pilots participating in the 2015 Fly It Forward® challenge will invite non-flying female military personnel and their daughters to experience flight in a small aircraft during Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week, March 2-8, 2015.
Any female introduced to flight during the Fly It Forward® challenge may become eligible to win the First to Solo™ challenge’s grand prize, valued at $2,495 in 2015. Previous grand prize winners used their prize to advance their quest to start a commercial pilot career.
Concurrent to the 2015 Fly It Forward® challenge, IWOAW’s 2015 keynote speaker program will make it possible for girls and women anywhere in the world to hear from outstanding female role models of military aviation and interact with them via a custom social media platform.
“We rise by lifting others,” says Mireille Goyer, an airline transport rated pilot and the President of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide, who launched the Fly It Forward® initiative in 2010. “Women serving in the military make it possible for all of us to live in a safe and secured environment. Fly It Forward® pilots plan to lift thousands away from their duties to offer them a bird’s eyes view of the country they cherish and, may be, help them find a new vocation for their civilian life.”
“It was incredible! I’m even thinking about getting my private pilot license because of that amazing flight. Daren was an extremely good pilot and I cannot thank him enough for providing a lifetime experience in the sky,” exclaimed Laura, Hainesport, NJ, USA, after her Fly It Forward® flight.