The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association understand the importance of promoting aviation to the general public, especially young people. For many years an agreement between the two organizations existed allowing COPA members to fly young people as part of the EAA Young Eagles program.
However, due to growing concerns about the legal climate in the United States, and related insurance issues, it became apparent that COPA’s continued participation in the EAA Young Eagles program could not be achieved. So, an alternative was sought to maintain the involvement of COPA members in youth flights in Canada.
We are now very pleased to report that COPA is launching a new initiative called the “COPA For Kids Aviation Program”. Although COPA For Kids will work along very similar principles to the EAA Young Eagles program, it will be operated independently of Young Eagles.
EAA is supportive of the COPA For Kids initiative and has provided help in developing COPA’s new program materials.
The EAA Young Eagles program will continue in Canada, with participation now restricted to EAA members and EAA Chapters.
“I look forward to working with COPA in expanding the opportunity for young people in Canada to enjoy a personal aviation experience through the continuing generosity of COPA and EAA members”, said EAA President Tom Poberezny.
“As Canada celebrates 100 years of powered flight in 2009, I am pleased that EAA and COPA’s longstanding effort to promote aviation to young people will continue in a new form that will contribute to Canada’s aviation future”, said COPA President and CEO Kevin Psutka.
· Why has this change happened? The old agreement seemed to be working well.
It is important to note that the cooperative relationship between COPA and EAA remains strong, and both organizations are working together to support and promote general aviation in Canada and, specifically, providing an opportunity for young people to enjoy a personal flight experience.
However the barrier to continuing the old agreement were some complicated legal and insurance issues, exacerbated by a litigious culture that exists in the United States. This spurred us to explore alternatives.
· What does this mean for EAA Members and Chapters in Canada?
There is no change. EAA members in Canada will continue to be able to fly Young Eagles under the program, provided they meet the EAA Pilot Guidelines. EAA Chapters in Canada are also encouraged to continue flying Young Eagles at flight rally events.
EAA membership includes a supplemental insurance policy that covers EAA members with an additional $1 million in liability insurance when flying Young Eagles, provided they meet EAA’s pilot guidelines.
For more information, visit www.youngeagles.org or email email@example.com
· I’m a COPA member, how do I get involved in the new program?
In order to maximize the experience for the Junior Aviators and enhance safety, the COPA For Kids Aviation Program is set up to be provided by our local Chapters, called COPA Flights, following our Guide to the COPA For Kids Aviation Program. Also, COPA’s Air Meet insurance is in effect only when the event is organized by a COPA Flight. See our website to find a COPA Flight near you www.copanational.org/non-members/flights.htm. Contact them to find out their plans for COPA For Kids and how you can participate.
For more information, visit www.COPAForKids.org or email COPAForKids@copanational.org