Eighty new Young Eagles take flight

By Al Fielder, Captain


COPA Flight 5 now has a full executive. I continue as Flight Captain, Al Blakely has taken on the position of Navigator and Don Brown is Treasurer. Mike Moffat has been my helping hand as recording secretary since our flight started and continues to do a good job.

On May 9, we celebrated Flight 5's fifth year since the rejuvenation in 2002. We had a good turn-out and enjoyed coffee and cake.

Our latest project has been our 10th Young Eagles Day. This took place on Saturday, May 12, at the Delta Heritage Air Park. There were 80 Young Eagles in total, 25 of who were from the 27th Richmond Scouting group. This brings our total YEs flown to 835. Barb and Sandra Blakely did the pre-registration.

Once again, our pilots taking part were Al Blakely, Rick Blue, Don Brown, Donn Hubble, Henry Ilg, Gary Peare, Harry Pride and Norm Snihur.

Ground crew consisted of Bruce Prior as our Chief Marshal, Mike Moffat, Alex Doughty, John Clark, Jim Niessen, Merv Wright, Matti Koivula, Dave Elliot, Carol Foley, Jean Prior and John Macready.

Lowell Breckon led the ground school class for all flights. Al greeted and escorted each group to the class with the help of a previous Young Eagle, Shanan D'Souze along with his Air Cadet brother, Ethan, who gave Barb a hand with the 80 kids signing in.

As a point of interest, one of our volunteers, Alex Doughty was one of our first Young Eagles, who flew with us in October 2002. He has now obtained his glider rating with the Air Cadets, joined COPA and has also become a member of our COPA Flight 5 group.

The retired "COPA guys", Tony and Mary Swain are still willing participants in the YE programs. Mary supplied cookies and juice for the new Young Eagles and had sandwiches, coffee and cakes ready for all pilots and volunteers.

She was assisted by her sister Anne and Donn Hubble's mother, Amber. Allison Peare gave a hand where needed and Tony filled in as "official greeter" since he always makes people feel very welcome to Delta.

Tentatively, we are planning another Young Eagles flight in conjunction with the Boundary Bay Flying Club, to be held some time in August.