Over 100,000 people expected at Girls Fly 2 international event Oct 5-6


Girls Fly 2 is open to everyone with over 12,000 flights. Below, Richard Mills and Heide Stephanson-piper will be on hand.






he U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Richard Mills will be a special guest speaker October 05 at the opening ceremony for Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too! gender diversity outreach event on his first official visit to BC.


When: October 5-6, from 9 am to 5:30 pm

What: Flights for female first-time fliers

Where: Abbotsford International Airport

Cost: Free, family-friendly

Mills, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, most recently served as US Ambassador to Armenia. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, and as Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at US Embassy Valetta, Malta.


Mills has also served as the Senior Democracy Advisor at US Embassy Baghdad, Political Counselor at US Embassy London, and as a Political Officer at the US Mission to the United Nations, among other assignments.

NASA Astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper will be a special guest at the opening ceremony and will remain on hand to inspire thousands over the two-day, family- friendly free event.
Aside from NASA Mission Specialist and fixer of space stations, Stefanyshyn-Piper is a 30-year veteran of the US Navy as Dive Officer, Salvage Officer, Engineering Duty Officer, Surface Warfare Officer, Underwater Ship Husbandry Operations Officer with numerous special honours and commendations to her credit.

“I always wanted to be an astronaut,” said Stefanyshyn-Piper


Not the typical stargazing,  type, she was deeply immersed in a successful career with the US Navy when a colleague mentioned NASA’s plans to build a space station. Intrigued, she researched NASA’s plans for project Freedom, which later evolved into the International Space Station. She concluded her experience fixing ships underwater for the U.S. Navy was very similar to building a space station. She immediately applied and was accepted.

US Coast Guard helicopter. Below, Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Navy ship are part of Achieve Anything Foundation.


During her 13 years with NASA, Stefanyshyn-Piper logged over 27 days and 15 hours in space. She flew on the space shuttle Atlantis with Canadian astronaut Steven MacLean in 2006 and on space shuttle Endeavour in 2008. She completed 5 spacewalks totaling 33 hours and 42 minutes of Extra-Vehicular Activity time.


This Canadian signature annual event showcases an unprecedented international partnership towards the improvement of gender and cultural diversity in high-tech STEM fields. Over the weekend tens of thousands of Canadian and US citizens come to the completely free event to interact with military/civilian aircraft and tactical assets, hands-on activities and interactive displays.

On the open sea in a Canadian Navy vessel.


Entering our eighth year, we’ve had over 67,300 in attendance at our Girls Fly 2 events, with 9,172 girls and women given free first-time helicopter flights. With the successful conclusion of of the 2019 Girls Fly 2 event we anticipate surpassing 100,000 participants and achieving 12,000 free flights. www.girlsfly2.ca 




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