Astronaut special guest at this year’s Girls Fly Too event

Event has been moved from Langley Airport to Abbotsford Airport to accommodate the growing interest in women's aviation

Wendy Lawrence is an astronaut with NASA.

Wendy Lawrence is an astronaut with NASA.

A female space traveller will land in Abbotsford on March 7.

Thousands of girls, women and their families can meet astronaut Wendy Lawrence, veteran of four missions to space.

On March 7 and 8, more than 10,000 people will gather at the Abbotsford International Airport for The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! The hands-on outreach event is held in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women of Aviation Worldwide Week.

Last year, the inaugural Girls Fly Too event in the Lower Mainland took place at the Langley Airport. It saw a record number of girls and women take to the skies for the first time.

Event founder Kirsten Brazier is a Langley resident and professional pilot who flies both helicopters and planes. Her goal in organizing this annual event is to get more females involved in aviation.

Participants coming out to this year’s show can meet Lawrence, ask questions about her experiences and find out what it takes to become an astronaut, pilot or engineer.

When the Apollo 11 crew landed on the moon on July 20, 1969, a 10-year-old Lawrence watched in black and white from 393,309 km away.  That’s when she decided she too would become an astronaut.

After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, Lawrence flew helicopters off ships. Later, Lawrence became the first graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to fly into space, and has flown four space missions including a visit to Mir, the Russian space station.

Participants at the event can try their hand at many activities such as riveting a real aircraft, removing/installing parts from engines, simulating bombing forest fires with a firefighting aircraft, simulating air traffic control, learning about piloting an aircraft and more.

The event is free, families are welcome and no registration is required to attend.

Free introductory flights are offered for female first-time fliers of any age. Moms are encouraged to fly with their daughters. Advance registration at www.girlsfly2.ca is required for the female fliers.