Women in Aviation inspires 100 young girls to become pilots at Spring flight school

SPRING, Texas – A hundred girls got the experience of a lifetime Saturday at the Texas Flight School event for Girls in Aviation Day.

It’s an annual event hosted by the Houston chapter of Women in Aviation International, a nonprofit organization that strives to inform young girls about how careers in aviation can be viable options.

Currently, only 6 percent of all pilots are women and WAI hopes to change that by inspiring young girls across the nation. Professor of aviation and demonstrator at the event, Becky Luttie, is a member of WAI and hopes she can be part of growing the number of women in aviation in the future. She was one of the demonstrators.

“What we really want to show these girls is that anyone can do it ... and just create some awareness with these young girls to empower them to know that if this is what they want to do, it is totally achievable for them to do,” Lutte said.

Every year, WAI hosts Girls in Aviation Day. The event consists of multiple stations of demonstrations with actual aircraft. The young girls can see inside the planes and learn all about building and flying planes. 

Liberty Quinton, 12, had this to say about her experience at the event: “I came here today because I was interested and I learned new things about it and I have a whole new way of looking at it ... learning about how women are able to build it and fix it (planes) ... it was like opening a door and me walking through it to learn more about it.”  

Some of the girls who came to the event already had big dreams of flying and others have been given insight into an opportunity they hadn’t thought was possible before Saturday. Lily Freile-Ortiz came with a big dream and tells us about how great this is for empowering young women like herself. 

“I think it’s really cool because I personally want to be a pilot in the military and I have been for a while ... so I think it’s cool that they have things like this ... and I think it’s cool that they want to help lead younger generations into it,” Freile-Ortiz said. 

Though the event was centered around jobs and procedures in aviation, Tiana Daugherty, a 30-year pilot for United Airlines, says she hopes to just inspire girls to do big things in general.

“In my day, you didn’t get to meet people (women) that were in the industry so to be able to talk to them and see them enthused ... (it's great) to plant a seed of encouragement to do anything, just to be more than you imagine whether it be in aviation or any other career,” Daughtery said.  

WAI is a nonprofit organization created 30 years ago and relies heavily on donations from the community. To get involved or find out more about the Houston chapter of WAI, visit www.WAIHouston.org.