Caiden and Ariana learn about flying a plane at this year's Girls Fly Too! event at Abbotsford Airport Saturday (and Sunday).

Caiden and Ariana learn about flying a plane at this year's Girls Fly Too! event at Abbotsford Airport Saturday (and Sunday).

SLIDE SHOW:Girls Fly Too! event

Annual aviation-themed event takes place March 11 and 12



The annual The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! event returns to Abbotsford Airport on Saturday, March 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The event is the world’s largest outreach initiative to inspire female future leaders in aviation, aerospace, marine and defence, and is held annually during the Week of International Women’s Day.

All activities are free and hands-on to ensure there are no barriers to participation.

The event opens with Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon, joined by the Delta Police pipe band.

Participants will also get to meet NASA astronaut Heidi Stefanyshyn-Piper.

Aside from being a NASA mission specialist and builder of space stations, Stefanyshyn-Piper is a 30-year veteran of the US Navy, having served as mechanical engineer, diver, salvage officer, surface warfare officer and commanding officer with numerous awards and commendations to her credit.

During her 13 years with NASA, Stefanyshyn-Piper logged more than 27 days and 15 hours in space.

She flew on Mission STS-115 on space shuttle Atlantis with Canadian astronaut Steven MacLean in 2006 and Mission STS-126 on space shuttle Endeavour in 2008.

She completed five space walks totalling 33 hours and 42 minutes of extra-vehicular activity time.

Girls Fly Too! also includes free flights for female first-time fliers of all ages to draw them to the airport and pique their interest in further exploring the hands-on ground activities.

The event is open to everyone, and attendees can expect to see aircraft and tactical assets from the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Army, Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP, Cadets, US Military and Civil Air Search and Rescue.

Among the displays on site will be the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber.

The B-52 is the world’s longest serving and most versatile combat aircraft in military history. It entered active service with the U.S. Air Force in 1955, and is scheduled to continue as part of the USAF inventory through 2040.

Also on hand will be civilian and education partners from aviation, aerospace, marine and defence.

Visit girlsfly2.ca for more information, including on how to register for the free flights.