After nearly one year’s preparation, China Section of the 99s held its First International Conference in Chengdu, China Nov 6-9, 2019. With around forty women pilots from Austria, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, the middle east, and U.S.A. joining dozens of our local sisters, it was a great success. The exciting event was widely covered by the local and national social media.
The theme of the conference was to inspire and be inspired.
Famous Aviation icons and industry leaders were invited to share their experiences and offer advises to young flyers. Keynote speakers include: “China’s Captain Sully” Chuanjian LIU who brought his plane and 128 lives safely back to the ground after the windshield of his A319 jet broke off mid-air, Xiaohong Miao, one of the very first female Chinese air force pilots trained in the fifties and recently returned to flying at the age of 82, Jessica Cox, the world’s first licensed armless pilot, and Dee Bond, International Director of the Ninety-nines, Inc.
One of the highlights of the conference was to share our passion for flying with school kids under a program dubbed Swan Talk. Dozens of 99s divided into small groups visited four local schools with various grades. All were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and excitement the students had for flying.
To share with overseas visitors the flying opportunities in the fast-growing aviation industry in China, Sichuan airlines, one of the major sponsors of the conference, invited the group to its headquarters and shared its global hiring strategies with attendees.
One exciting future project was announced during the conference: FLY AROUND CHINA 2020. A project to encourage, support, and facilitate GA pilots’ cross-country flights in China, something currently very difficult if not impossible to do due to restrictions on air space and infrastructure. Mr. Yuanyuan YANG, former administrator of Civil Aviation Administration of China, shared his experiences on a recent historical cross-country flight he completed and gave his endorsement to the project.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the following: China Aviation Society Association who helped arranging many of the behind-the theme logistics, Sichuan Airlines who generously provided round-trip tickets to many, Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation who opened its beautiful campus for our opening ceremony, LCA Aviation Museum who hosted a special dinner for the group in its beautiful museum floor. Chengdu Tuofeng Aviation and Beijing HuaAn Aviation who generously sponsored over 30 aerial tours to 50 plus attendees in both fixed-wing planes and helicopters, an experience rarely available to overseas visitors. More importantly, we’d like to thank all of you who helped spreading the words of our conference in the past year and those who traveled long distance to join us. Your support means the world to us.
Now that we successfully concluded our first Women pilots’ Conference in China, a milestone in China’s aviation history, there would be more to come. We look forward to welcoming more of our 99s sisters to China in the future.
From: Ida Zhang, first governor of China Section 99s, Saki Chen, current governor, and Wenyu Fu, vice governor.