The annual Girls Fly Too! event takes place Oct. 5 and 6 at Abbotsford Airport. (Abbotsford News file photo)

The annual Girls Fly Too! event takes place Oct. 5 and 6 at Abbotsford Airport. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Girls Fly Too! event returns to Abbotsford Airport

Event includes free flights for girls, as well as displays and hands-0n activities

The annual “The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too!” event comes to the Abbotsford Airport this weekend, offering visitors a chance to take a free flight, hear from female astronauts and try their hand at aviation mechanics.

The event had originally been scheduled for March, but was postponed because some of the resources needed to run the event were not available until after the B.C. wildfire season.

Girls Fly Too! is organized by the Achieve Anything Foundation.

The event runs Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is open to everyone, but the goal is to show women and girls the opportunities available in the fields of aviation, aerospace, marine and defence.

All activities are free and hands-on.

The opening ceremonies include the U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue doing a demonstration jump for only their second time in Canada. (The first time was at last year’s show.)

Guest speaker will be Richard Mills, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister counsel, mostly recently serving as U.S. ambassador to Armenia.

Special guest at the opening ceremonies is Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper, who spent 13 years as an astronaut with NASA, logging more then 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 spacewalks 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. Registration for the free flight can be done online at girlsfly2.ca.

Girls Fly Too! is open to everyone, and attendees can expect to see aircraft and tactical assets from the Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP and municipal police, cadets, search and rescue organizations, and Canadian and U.S. armed forces.

Also on hand will be civilian and education partners.

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