By John Quarterman
Since the broad restart of American general aviation manufacturing following the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act in 1994, (which limited aircraft manufacturer’s’ liability to 18 years), general aviation has re-established GA once again beenas a going concern.
Manufacturing of all sorts of general aviation aircraft commenced, most notably the reentry of Cessna single-engine aircraft and then the huge success of the Cirrus single-engine aircraft, which confirmed the fact that aircraft would be there to fly well into the future.
But even before the restart of the mass manufacturing of light aircraft came about, a problem was evident – the lack of young people interested in aviation.
The Young Eagles program is an EAA program designed to increase the participation of young people in aviation. This program was conceived and launched in 1992 to once again put young people in the air – with the stated aim of flying a million kids.
Although primarily a USA program for EAA members, the program was made open to all pilots and became popular with pilots from every other association in the USA and many pilots around the world.
COPA has been involved in the EAA Young Eagles Program since its inception in 1992. COPA has been the largest contributor to Young Eagles outside of the EAA, and, given this status, was the only organization allowed to continue participation in the program as an exception to the rule - after EAA otherwise restricted participation in the program to EAA members in early 2007.
Notwithstanding COPA’s privileged role and status in the program, following a review of the EAA’s insurance it became evident that EAA was concerned about their liability to aircraft accidents and in early 2007 COPA yielded to pressureagreed to a request from the EAA to provide added additional insurance for to cover liability for aircraft accidents - following a review of EAA’s liability insurance.
Following that,The additional insurance premium for COPA was significant but justified because not only did it permit us to continue as a partner in this important program but we also anhance COPA’s liability protection for other COPA events that may experience and aircraft accident. COPA was able to continue an informal but sanctioned participation in the Young Eagles program – on using the tried and tested COPA Flights event model of organized events involving mass airlifts of dozens of kids flown by several pilots operating in concert.
In early 2008 EAA again contacted COPA and explained their need to put the program affiliation with COPA on a formal basis, and to have the liability insurance carried by COPA - extended to the EAA by naming it as insured.
COPA continued to authorize Flights to carry onconduct Young Eagles events on a temporary basis while an agreement and appropriate insurance coverage was negotiated.
Despite the good intentions on both sides, eventually it was necessary on June 1, 2008 for COPA to suspend Young Eagles operations due to liability concerns and lack of common ground on several liability clauses in the draft agreement. Also, because of the wording in COPA’s existing liability policy, which only addressed Young Eagles flying, we had to suspend all organized flying of young people until the policy wording could be revised.
Following this suspension both organizations tried to resolve the liability issues but reluctantly agreed on June 2, 2008 that a complementary and similar, but separate COPA program was necessary to avoid the liability issues.
COPA For Kids Aviation Program
COPA decided to field a new program – bBased on the Young Eagles model, this new program isbut designed and managed only by COPA., as a result of the friendly and amicably positive and supportive discussion with the EAA following the decision to split from Young Eagles. We understand how important the flying of young people is to many of our Flights, so we are working hard to start the new program as soon as possible. The release of the guide, pamphlet, certificate are pending legal review.
Stay tuned to our web site and newspaper for the launch of the COPA For Kids Aviation pProgram. The program guides, pamphlet, certificate and legal review are very close to completion.
COPA understands how important the flying programs of the COPA Flights are and is working hard to start the new program as soon as possible.
To In anticipation of its launch the program, COPA iswe are issuing the following challenge to our Flights:
To have Fly 2,009 kids flown by December 2009 in celebration of Canada’s 100th Anniversary of Powered Flight.
COPA is expectingWe anticipate a positive and strong response from its our Flights to the program, as the vast majority of members who have expressed an opinion – have commented that it is high time for a Canadian-made Youngyoung -person flying program to be fielded in Canada.
So get ready to start flying – and be part of COPA’s proud new adventure, the COPA For Kids Aviation Program.