To celebrate, pilots introduced 1,647 girls & women to flying in 29 countries/4 continents

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100 years of legacy - fly it forward

It started in 1784, when only 8 months after the first manned balloon flight, Count Jean-Baptiste de Laurencin got cold feet and gave his spot for a balloon flight to Marie Élisabeth Thible, a French opera singer. She dressed as a Roman goddess and sang "La Belle Arsène", a celebrated opera of the time, as the balloon ascended to 1500 meters. She is was the first woman ever to fly.

Brevet de pilote de Raymonde de LarocheA few years later, riding along was not good enough for women anymore. In 1798, Jeanne Labrosse was the first woman to fly solo in an aircraft and, in June 1903, Aida de Acosta was the first woman to fly a powered aircraft, a dirigible designed by her friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont. It is no surprise that just a few years after the airplane was invented, women were taking on the new challenge. Raymonde de Laroche, an experienced French balloonist became the first woman to earn a pilot license on March 8, 1910.

Over the last century, women have continued to actively take part in aviation regardless of the set backs they sometimes faced. Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to earn a pilot license, had to learn French and travel to what was at the time far away lands just to learn to fly airplanes. Elena Caragiani-Stoenescu, Roumania, was denied her application for a pilot license in her country and traveled to France to earn her pilot license. Upon her return, her country refused to let her participate to airshows. Many countries refused to let women use their piloting skills to defend their countries in wartime.

All the hard earned breakthroughs would not have been possible without their strong will power and the open mindedness of those men who supported their efforts. As we, today, stands in receipt of this legacy, let's gracefully pay it forward to the next generation of women pilots. Let's introduce a record number of women to aviation.

Latest News

Renton proudly displays its 2010 title on airport fence

That's one good looking banner. Congrats Renton.

Just in! If you drive by Renton Airport in the greater Seattle area in Washington state, you won't be able to miss the beautiful new banner on the airport fence.

Renton Airport, home of the Boeing 737 factory, is an amazing airport where you can see a mix of aircraft, green B737s, Cessna 152s, Cirrus SRs, Robinson helicopters, and of course many seaplanes as Renton Airport includes a seabase at the end of the runway.

But, what you cannot see as you drive by the airport is heart and soul of the airport: the people and their amazing spirit of friendship and community.

So stop and come in to discover this jewel of aviation.

Karlene Petitt presents the 2010 "Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the United States" trophy to the City of Renton

(left to right) Karlene Petitt present the award to Renton Mayor Denis Law in front of the Renton city council

On March 21 2011, Karlene Petitt presented the 2010 trophy for "Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport in the United States" to the City of Renton. Mayor Denis Law accepted the trophy on behalf of the city in front of the city council.

Congratulations Renton!

Oshawa honors most unusual intro flight award recipient with a sign at the GM Centre hockey ring

Sign at the hockey ring of the GM Centre in Oshawa

Clark Morawetz, winner of the most unusual introductory flight award, got a big surprise when he walked in the GM Centre to see a hockey game. He saw a sign with his name on it to honor him for his win. Way to go, Oshawa!

Oshawa, 2010 World's Most-Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport, celebrated their awards by throwing a big party

(left to right) Shane Hartwell (Air traffic controller, Oshawa), Lesley Page, Stephen Wilcox (Oshawa Airport Manager) receive the 2010 Most Female-Pilot-Friendly Airport Worldwide trophy

On Saturday February 5th, the Oshawa Aviation community celebrated their awards by throwing a big party!

Over 60 people attended the celebration, which was held at the RCAF 420 Wing building at the Oshawa Airport. COPA Director, Paul Hayes was on hand to represent COPA National.

The Mayor of Oshawa, John Henry, presented the trophy for Most female-pilot-friendly airport in the world in 2010 (airport with most non-pilot girls and women introduced to aviation in 2010) to the Oshawa Aviation Community.

Gord Mahaffy, Captain of COPA Flight 70, presented Clark Morawetz with his trophy for the most unusual flight, a flight over Lake Scugog that included a marriage proposal that almost went wrong.

Gord also presented Lesley Page with her award for the 2nd runner up, most dedicated woman pilot in the world in 2010 (woman pilot who introduced the most non-pilot girls and women to aviation in 2010).

Congratulations to Clark, Lesley, and the entire Oshawa Aviation Community!