Face Time: Fly girls

  • Article by: SARA GLASSMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2012 - 8:43 AM

Girls With Wings aims to even the gender divide in the sky.

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It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a girl! Or at least it will be, if Lynda Meeks has her way.

Through her nonprofit group Girls With Wings, Meeks is on a mission to inspire and recruit more girls to take to the friendly skies.

For the second annual Aviation Inspiration Day last weekend, girls participated in hands-on presentations where they learned about flying and checked out the planes of the Commemorative Air Force's Minnesota Wing.

The girls-only event at Fleming Field in South St. Paul came about because of a need that Meeks, an active pilot, recognized. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, only about 6 percent of active pilots are women.

"When you ask girls why aren't there more girl pilots, they'll say because it's a boy's job," she said. "Hopefully, nobody's told them that, but that's what they perceive."

While weather conditions slowed actual test flights, the girls learned about aviation, including how to navigate a flight to Florida -- the most frequently requested location, thanks to Walt Disney World.

Someday, Meeks hopes, these girls will really take off as pilots.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177

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