The 2019 WAI San Diego event was held at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego.

Girls were put into squadrons with historical names like Sundowners, Liberty Belles, Hoot Owls and Golden Dragons to experience real life on an aircraft carrier.

The evening began with our guest speaker U.S. Navy Captain Tamara "T'Lo" Graham. Her presentation was inspiring to all, and the girls were still talking about it the next day, as were the Midway staff! T'Lo has been a partner of our chapter since 2015 and we so appreciate all of her assistance, guidance, leadership and passion for inspiring young girls to be all they can be.

The groups took turns rotating through different stations aboard the Midway including:

•  Visiting the Flight Deck's restored carrier aircraft, including jet fighters, attack aircraft, helicopters, and specialist designs.

•  Being introduced to the jobs of the flight deck crews, known as "Skittles" for their bright uniforms, and the variety of responsibilities they have fueling, signaling, moving, and ensuring safety for the aircraft.

•  Learning about Cats and Traps, the complex system for launching and landing on a ship.

•  Seeing the Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System, and learning how this special light rig helps pilots land aboard the Midway.

•  Exploring the Island/Bridge, where the carrier is steered and where the Captain oversees flight operations.

•  Experiencing jet flight in the on-board simulators and learning about the many different types of aircraft.

The girls ate meals in the Galley and slept in Enlisted Sailor's Bunks (tight quarters!) where crew slept under the Midway’s busy Fight Deck.

Our chapter was excited to host 200 wonderful girls from our community with various backgrounds and aspirations in aviation. Each attendee received a WAI Girls in Aviation day T-shirt and goodie bags full of aviation-related items donated by our sponsors. Our event's success is credited to our amazing volunteer chapter members, the staff of USS Midway's Youth Programs Office, and our event sponsors, shown below.

See what we did at GIRLS IN AVIATION DAY 2019

Photos by Jill Meyers

With 118 individual events presented worldwide, Women in Aviation International’s October 5 Girls in Aviation Day 2019 reached approximately 20,000 attendees. Truly an international event, Girls in Aviation Day was celebrated not just in the United States but in 17 other countries in Canada and Australia as well as countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Girls were introduced to the career and lifestyle possibilities in aviation and aerospace through meeting role models, career panels, exploring airplanes and airports, and a host of hands-on, fun activities.

Many Thanks to our GIAD19 Sponsors!

For 2019's Women in Aviation International (WAI) Girls in Aviation Day, the WAI San Diego Chapter and the USS Midway's Youth Programs Office hosted 200 girls between the ages of 8 to 17 on a specially tailored, aviation-themed Youth Overnight Program.

The girls visited every aviation-related part of the aircraft carrier, including an evening of observing the flight deck under the stars. They slept in authentic enlisted berthing spaces used by Midway Sailors, and had dinner and breakfast in the original ship's Galley. The program also included the students having time on the USS Midway's flight simulators.

Our special guest speaker was U.S. Navy Captain Tamara "T'Lo" Graham.Capt Graham is an H-60 Seahawk helicopter pilot and all-around amazing woman! Her last tour (prior to returning to San Diego this summer) was as the Vice-President and Chief of Staff of the Naval War College in Newport, RI. She was incredible and inspired the girls to dream big!