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135 young fliers take to the skies over B.C.

By Don Hudgeon and Ed Festel

 

On Sunday April 29, in Penticton and again on May 6, in Princeton, the Penticton Flying Club/COPA Flight 50 conducted their annual “COPA for Kids” flight program.

After a few years with relatively low numbers of kids showing up for the event we increased our efforts for marketing the event in the communities.

Even with many teachers not actively promoting this wonderful opportunity for the children we could increase the participation to levels never seen before.

In Penticton we flew 88 young aviators between 8 and 17 years coming from Osoyoos, Okanagan Falls, Penticton and Sum - merland. Then the following Sunday in Princeton we flew another 47 children from Princeton, Osoyoos and Surrey.

With the co-operation of pilots and aircraft from Oliver, Penticton, Summerland and Princeton we all had a great time and hope to see even more kids next year. It is reassuring for those of us from the older generation to see our youth still excited by the thought of flying in a light aircraft.

Our thanks is extended to the schools, youth groups, RCAF Cadets, the Town of Princeton and the media who helped get the message out to our participants.

As well, thanks to all the parents who spent a few hours with their kids at the local airport for this fun event — the sunny and warm weather on both weekends certainly helped to bring all these people out.

It was wonderful to see so many flying club members come out and support our efforts and to volunteer on the ground and by flying their aircraft for this worthy cause.

We hope to see you all again next year!