The Sky’s No Limit Girls Fly Too event raises profile

Sky’s No Limit Girls Fly Too

Inspiring generations. Mom is just as excited as her daughters to check out the Canadian Armed Forces Aurora aircraft from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron, Comox, during the 2016 Sky’s No Limit Girls Fly Too event.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Personnel from the CFB Esquimalt are helping the Achieve Anything Foundation boost its goal to inspire over 20,000 female future leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at The Sky’s No Limit Girls Fly Too event.

This is the third year units from CFB Esquimalt have been involved. It’s part of the non-profit’s effort to inspire women and girls towards careers in STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields with practical hands-on experience in aircraft, tactical assets and hands-on displays from various supporting agencies.

This year’s event is on the weekend of March 10 and 11 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Abbotsford International Airport. To further inspire those in attendance about STEM-based career possibilities outside of aviation, the event will feature demonstrations by Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton and Fleet Diving Unit’s Bomb Disposal Unit.

There will also be a performance by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and participation of the base’s top brass, Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific.

“It’s a big accomplishment to be on the permanent radar of the Canadian Armed Forces, and it shows that we are a significant event for them to send so many assets,” said Kirsten Brazier, Achieve Anything Foundation President.

In keeping with the flying theme, the Royal Canadian Air Force will display a Sea King and CF-149 Cormorant helicopter, which will also provide free rides at the event, and two static cockpit displays. Additional RCAF include a CC130J Hercules, CT-155 Hawk, CT-156 Harvard, CT-142 Dash-8, CC-115 Buffalo, CP-140 Aurora.

The army will provide armoured personnel carriers and an M-109 Self-Propelled Gun tank.

The U.S. Air Force is sending a C5M Galaxy, C17 Globe Master, KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender refuelling aircraft, while its skydiving team Wings of Blue will perform their first-ever jump in Canada.

But the big focus of this year’s event, says Brazier, is to get female visitors into the cockpit of an aircraft, and airborne. To achieve that, she has enlisted the support of corporate partners who will donate 10 helicopters and pilots for the event. The event takes place on a stretch of taxiway between two active runways at the Abbotsford International Airport and is completely free for all participants thanks to the support of agency, industry and education partners. Parking is also free.

Brazier, is an airline transport rated fixed-wing and helicopter pilot and Doctor of Technology learned her trade in a male-dominated industry and says offering young women a chance to experience flight firsthand is the missing link to getting more of them involved in STEM-based careers.   

“The concept is all about the hands-on approach,” she says. “If the Canadian Armed Forces and other STEM-based employers want more women in their workforce, they need to put the tools in their hands to spark an interest and create excitement.”

Other participants in the event include the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Coast Guards, Cadets, US Air force, US Navy, Vancouver Police Department, Civil Air Search and Rescue, Boeing, Teck Construction, KF Aerospace, University of Frasier Valley, Cascade Aerospace, Nav Canada, BCIT, BC Government, Verrault Lowbed Service and other industry partners.


Volunteers wanted

Kirsten Brazier is currently looking for volunteers from the base to fill an array of roles during the event. For more information about the event and how to register as a flight participant or ways to volunteer visit their website


Photo Credit Yellow Drum Productions

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