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Flight school flies away with five world titles

April 7, 2013 at 1:04 p.m.
Updated April 6, 2013 at 11:07 p.m.

Saiva Ruiz flew in a helicopter with pilot Dianna Stanger on her birthday. The Calhoun Air Center won five world titles from Women Of Aviation Worldwide for its promotion of women in flight.

Calhoun Air Center was awarded five world titles from Women Of Aviation Worldwide on Wednesday.

The flight school received Most Female Pilot Friendly Training Center Worldwide, first runner-up; Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide, owner Dianna Stanger, second runner-up; Most Dedicated Female Pilot Worldwide, chief flight instructor Erin Michael, top 10; Most Supportive Male Pilot Worldwide, flight instructor Thomas Keane, top 10; and Most Productive Organizer, public relations coordinator Jasmine Gordon, top 10.

"The tremendous amount of support from Victoria and Calhoun counties is the motivation for the great effort we put forth this year," said Stanger. "Each time our passengers smiled, laughed or thanked us, it made it all worthwhile. Our team effort was a winning one."

Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week aims to foster diversity in aviation by celebrating history, raising awareness and sparking vocations among the female population. More than 250 girls and women took their first flights at the air center.

"In a world that is not always as welcoming to women as it should be, the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide searches for and highlights individuals and organizations that are making a difference in fostering a shift in approach," said Mireille Goyer, president of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide. "To win our prestigious awards, individuals and organizations must demonstrate a superior level of commitment and dedication to attracting and welcoming women in the industry. We congratulate Dianna Stanger and the Calhoun Air Center for demonstrating the highest level of commitment and dedication in their respective categories within the United States in order to win."

The event is held worldwide each year during the week of March 8, International Women's Day. The air center hosted one of 74 events held in America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Calhoun Air Center was the only flight school to represent the U.S. as the locations in Canada swept the remaining trophies.

"I am so proud of all those at Calhoun Air Center for making such a large impact during Women of Aviation Week. I hope other flight schools will follow in their footsteps and in turn, grow the female pilot population." said Victoria Neuville, U.S. team leader of the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide.

The flight school has been awarded the WOAW Certified Women Friendly Flight Training Facility seal by Women Of Aviation Worldwide three years in a row.

To learn more about the Calhoun Air Center's flight training courses, contact Erin Michael at 361-575-2359 or via email at



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