OSHKOSH, WI -- The success of last year's inaugural WomenVenture gathering has inspired EAA and Women in Aviation International to unveil plans for more programs and activities this year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The 57th annual EAA fly-in convention, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration," will be held July 27-Aug. 2 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
The second annual WomenVenture program was initially announced at the WAI convention in February. Although WomenVenture activities will take place throughout the week, several events will be focused on Friday, July 31.
"Last year's WomenVenture was an awe-inspiring gathering, especially when hundreds of women pilots met on AeroShell Square for a group photo," says Elissa Lines, a pilot who serves as EAA's vice president of commercial and donor relations. "While the reunion aspect of WomenVenture was memorable, the meaning behind it -- that we can inspire other women to take control of their future and chart their own course -- was the vibrant message that emerged. We're looking forward to welcoming even more women aviators to Oshkosh this year."
The week will start with EAA's annual Women Soar days for high-school age girls from July 26-28. This program matches these girls with mentors in aviation, aerospace, the sciences and other fields. It also includes participation at EAA AirVenture.
On Friday, July 31, the following activities are already scheduled:
- A Women In Aviation International Celebrity Breakfast at the EAA Nature Center from 8-9 a.m., with Julie Clark, Patty Wagstaff, and John and Martha King. Reservations can be made by calling (937) 839-4647;
- The second annual WomenVenture group photo on AeroShell Square at 10:30 a.m.;
- The AirVenture afternoon air show featuring all-women pilots and performers;
- Evening program at EAA's Theater in the Woods hosted by WAI president Dr. Peggy Chabrian and renowned aviation educator Martha King, with guests such as space shuttle commander Eileen Collins, U.S. Air Force pilot Jill Long, air show performer Julie Clark, and Jessica Cox, the first person born without arms to earn a pilot certificate by flying with her feet.
"EAA AirVenture gives visibility to the thousands of women who share a passion for aviation throughout the country," says Dr. Peggy Chabrian, WAI president. "Women work in all aspects of aviation and at every level, but last year's WomenVenture showed the growth potential for women in aviation is astounding. One of our goals through these activities is to encourage more women to learn to fly."
EAA and WAI invite all women aviators to participate at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year, especially in the July 31 activities including the massive group photo. Women pilots may also pick up a free 2009 "WomenVenture" T-shirt at the EAA Welcome Center during the fly-in, at the Women Soar event, or at the Women in Aviation International breakfast on July 31. Supplies are limited.www.airventure.org/womenventure