Press Release

Paragon Flight Training to offer free introductory flights on June 10 for girls and young women aged 12-21 interested in learning about careers in aviation

Fort Myers, Fla.—June 1, 2023—Award-winning Paragon Flight Training wants to introduce Southwest Florida girls and young women aged 12 to 21 to the world of aviation careers by offering a free introductory ‘discovery flight’ at a private event it is hosting on June 10 at its facility on Page Field in Fort Myers.

The June 10 event will gather multi-generation female aviation influencers as well as current and past Paragon Flight students and instructors to celebrate women in aviation and share information on the many career options – from pilot and beyond – available in the industry. Six aviation trailblazers will serve as panelists throughout the day to share their career stories and highlight accomplishments of women in the industry. The panelists are:

  • Diane Meyers; Captain, Zero-G (first woman captain for a Turkish Airlines in 1995; professional pilot since 1982; airline pilot for 30 years and captain for 24 years)
  • Niloofar Rahmani; Pilot; first female fixed-wing pilot of the Afghan Air Force
  • Carly Shukiar; Piper Aircraft Fleet Sales Manager, US East; Tik Tok influencer
  • Lt. Hayley Betker; NOAA King Air Pilot (“Hurricane Hunter”)
  • Rebecca Anderson; Airframe and powerplant mechanic
  • Laura Benson-Jones; Pilot, Board Chair and Founder, Flight Club 502 in Louisville, Kentucky

The event will also salute the next generation of female aviators as Paragon Flight Training, together with sponsors Piedmont Airlines and Piper Aircraft, cheer on the Birds of Paragon – Fort Myers residents Lauren Ramage, Gina Willaford and Jennifer Adams – in their preparation for the Air Race Classic (ARC).

The ARC is a women-only national four-day air race founded in 1929 by leading female pilots, including Amelia Earhart, and convenes nearly 50 teams competing for the win in a race that covers 2,400 statute miles from June 20 to 23. The 2022 Birds of Paragon team – the company’s first – established a victory mindset, winning second place overall and first place for Fastest Piper Aircraft.

Girls and young women interested in the free, introductory flight must register by Wednesday, June 7, by emailing No reservations will be accepted on the day of the event. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, who may also join them on the introductory flight. A recreational waiver must be signed by all prior to the approximately 20-minute flight, which will be piloted by current Paragon Flight Training Certified Flight Instructors and offered between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“We are thrilled to support this team of exceptional women pilots and are eager to introduce more young women from the Fort Myers area into the fascinating world of aviation. Our hope is that by reaching out to the local community with this event and donating these flights, we can inspire and provide opportunities to ladies that may not have considered or been exposed to aviation as a career,” Paragon Flight Training President Chris Schoensee said. “There has never been a better time to become a pilot or pursue other careers in aviation. We want to spread the word among ambitious girls and young women about the rewarding and high-paying professional opportunities that await them in the aviation industry.”

About Paragon Flight Training

Paragon Flight is an award-winning flight academy headquartered at Page Field in Fort Myers, Florida. With FAA and SEVIS accreditations, a fleet of 30 aircraft and advanced simulator technology onsite, the company trains commercial, professional, and recreational pilots as well as offering military pilot training for domestic and foreign governments. The company completed a 28,000-combined-square-foot learning center expansion in 2022. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Barbara Fornasiero
EAFocus Communications
Tel: 248.260.8466