Paws and Planes Day Promotes Women in Aviation

- FREDERICK, Md. -- Children got to escape the snow outside on Saturday and learn more about aviation and Turbo the Flying Dog's adventures.

The star of the children's book showed kids how he takes flight with various planes and flight simulators at Paws and Planes Day at the National Aviation Community Center.

"I really hope children walk away knowing that aviation is an industry that they can be involved in, and that they're welcome in," said Victoria Zajko, co-author of "Turbo the Flying Dog."

The children’s book, written by two local authors, has gained some popularity in the area and more adventures are planned for Turbo's future.

"We’re trying to promote the fact that there are so few women pilots, and to get girls interested. Olive's going to have a big role in that," said Kelly Kennedy, co-author of the book.

Olive, Turbo's four-legged friend, will teach Turbo how to fly in the second book. She also represents the importance of getting women interested in a field that sees so few of them.

"Only about 6 percent of all the certificated pilots in the world are female," said Lin Caywood, a private pilot and the membership chairman for the Sugarloaf chapter of The Ninety-Nines.

The Ninety-Nines is an international organization of women pilots, which was started in 1929 and included elite members like Amelia Earhart. Today, they work to share their passion for flight and to get other women interested in considering a career in aviation.

"There's always been a misperception that you have to grow up being like a “gearhead,” or “toys for boys” that kind of thing. Really, women because of their patience and the way they think logically and are risk adverse, actually make better pilots sometimes than men do," said Caywood.

The second volume of “Turbo the Flying Dog” is expected to be released this spring.


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