By Fred Evoy
The Parksville-Qualicum Aero Club (COPA Flight 76) held its 2nd COPA for Kids event for 2009 on Saturday, Sept. 26.
Our first event was held in conjunction with our bi-annual Qualicum Beach Airport Appreciation Day on June 13.
Our goal was to reach the century mark in this the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. Our Aero Club pilots took up 47 kids aged 7 - 17 in the first event on Airport Appreciation Day. The September 26th event was equally as popular, with another 46 young people taking to the sky. Five aircraft each flew four missions throughout the day.
Pre-registration was managed at CAT4 air terminal building through a supportive sponsor, KD Air. All flights were fully pre-booked, but with cancellations and 'no-shows', six empty seats remained.
However, all of the 93 participants from both events enjoyed their introduction to aviation and their flight. Some of them were ecstatic to say the least.
While the kids enjoyed their day, our pilots also had a real hoot. The enthusiasm of the kids is infectious. Nothing but smiles all around. From the sounds of things, some of our passion for flying was transferred to the kids, and their parents.
Prior to each mission we held a short 15-minute ground school, demonstrating the theory of flight and with the use of an aircraft on static display, all the parts of an airplane that make them fly.
Judging by the quick response to the flight instructor's questions, there were budding pilots in our midst.
Our supportive ground crew provided registration assistance and barbecue hot dogs for all the kids and their parents. From the looks of things, flying does make you hungry! We already knew that though, didn't we!
What a great day! All our participating club members came away with a wonderful sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The kids came away with an experience they will never forget. The parents had as much fun as their kids! Cameras clicked all day long!
And of course, it was a perfect day for flying!