CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — There are over 100,000 commercial pilots in the United States, but only 7% of them are women. 

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An event in Chesapeake today aims to make the percentage higher. The “Women Can Fly” event was held Saturday at the Hampton Roads Executive Airport in Chesapeake. The event maxed out, flying 200 women and young girls – many of them on their first-ever flight! 

The event featured static displays of aircraft, gliders, and helicopters. Women also had the opportunity to speak to other women pilots.

It’s all an effort to get more women involved in aviation and thinking about careers – in the air or assisting in aviation on the ground. 

“There is a big need for pilots these days, the airlines are all short-handed,” said Linda Mathias, from 99s International Organization of Women Pilots. “Not just pilots but other jobs in aviation, so we’re trying to encourage women to get into the field. 

If you couldn’t make it out to Saturday’s event, their next event is in September at the military aviation museum in Virginia Beach. 

Women Can Fly is a newly created volunteer organization whose mission is to encourage women of all ages to fly.