WAI Conference a Snowy Success

Founder and president Peggy Chabrian
welcomes WAI Conference attendees.
Pia Bergqvist

The 22nd annual Women in Aviation, International (WAI) convention was held last week at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Despite the dismal aviation economy and a severe winter storm, this year's convention was visited by nearly 3,000 smiling attendees from 18 countries.

Walking into the conference area, the theme "inspire, enthuse, innovate" was evident. The Friday and Saturday general sessions featured fantastic keynote speakers, including John and Martha King, founders of King Schools; Jeppesen's president and CEO Mark Van Tine; and notable CFI and aviation humorist Rod Machado.

Sixty educational sessions, seminars and workshops presented historical, training, safety, medical and career related topics for pilots, maintenance technicians, military aviators, flight attendants, air traffic controllers and other aviation enthusiasts. In the convention area, multiple airlines and other aviation companies could be seen interviewing potential new hires. And 76 scholarships totalling $691,750 were handed out during the three day event to needy students and career advancement seekers by cowboy clad WAI employees.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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