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Ninety-Nines Minnesota Chapter to host North Central Section event

nesota Chapter of Ninety-Nines had a business meeting. Though they do like to socialize, they are also all about wanting to get things done.

Ninety-Nines is an international organization of women pilots organized in 1929. The first president was Amelia Earhart. Today there are approximately 4,000 members.

Patti Sandusky is the chairperson of the Minnesota Chapter, which covers the whole state and has 60 women members, all pilots.

"Our chapter belongs to the North Central Section which includes nine states," said Sandusky. "We are the second largest chapter in the North Central Section.

"On September 25-26 we are hosting the North Central Section meeting. We'll have many ladies flying their airplanes into Anoka, our GA Airport for the event."

At the international level, aviation centered scholarships are available to women through the Amelia Earhart Endowment Fund. The Minnesota Chapter awards two scholarships.

The Minnesota Chapter also hosts an annual Girls Aviation Day. Female pilots with backgrounds ranging from military to student pilots meet young girls to encourage them in aviation. This year the event will be held May 16 at the Air Lake Airport in Lakeville. The role modeling is important.

"It is still astounding to me that we'll get these young girls in that have no idea that they can fly airplanes," said Sandusky. "Having them meet with pilots makes it more real to them. It opens up the possibility in their minds."

Other Minnesota Chapter Ninety-Nines activities include Air Marking for airports, not only of identifiers but with their unique 70 feet in diameter Compass Rose; participation in the Tree of Hope; hosting an occasional Poker Run; and representation in the all women's transcontinental air race, the Air Race Classic that is held every year in June.

Sandusky, the Minnesota Chapter Chair is also one of the North Central Section Directors. She encourages women to consider membership in the flying club.

"Even if you're thinking about becoming a pilot, come and see us," said Sandusky. "This group can help women and girls of any age. You have to be 16 before you solo but you can fly with an instructor up to that age. Then you can solo. Then you're on your way."


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