By Chad Conrad
On Saturday, September 8, Flight 14 members and associates gave 35 kids (and one lucky parent) a ride they won't soon forget.
I have received several notes from grateful parents like this one:
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a tremendous day at the airport. My kids (Jake and Austyn) had a super time and have not stopped talking about how they got to fly a real airplane. You, the staff, and the pilots made a lot of young future pilots eager to get to the age where they can take lessons and pass on the experience that they had today to the next group of future pilots. I look forward to when Jake can start on his journey to get his pilot's license at the Springbank Airport. Best regards, Charlie Simmer"
Here is another one:
"Just a quick note to tell you how much Danny enjoyed his experience today. It was so exciting for him; he's been on the phone all day telling everyone about how he actually flew the plane. :) You are part of an organization filled with kind and generous people; everyone we met was so positive and sincere. Mike (my husband) and I had a great experience too. Actually, Mike was wondering a bit more info about taking a lesson himself? Regards, Kathy Griffin"
There were more like that, including notes from not only several kids who now want to learn to fly, but a couple of the adults too.
I am very grateful to the eleven volunteer pilots who donated their time and their aircraft. In the end they flew 29 flights to accommodate the 35 kids. I also send my thanks to the ground volunteers who helped me with registrations, briefings, and dispatching the right kids to the right planes, to our generous sponsors who provided fuel and prizes, to Nav Canada's Springbank air traffic controllers who planned a scenic route for us and kept us safely integrated with all of the other Saturday traffic on what was, by all accounts, a very busy Saturday, and to the parents and kids who made it a success by registering and showing up!
Thanks so much to you all.
For photos from the day from our volunteer event photographer Grant Shea, please see http://www.pbase.com/pjo/yecalgary07.
Yesterday I sent all of the registration forms down to the Young Eagles office at the EAA. In a month or so the kids should be able to find their names in the World's Largest Logbook, at http://www.youngeagles.org/logbook/. Each pilots should be able to find his name and Young Eagles pilot ID number on the web site also.
My apologies in advance if I miss anyone
Douglas Robertson Peter Kockerbeck Don Rennie Harry Range Jos Jonkers Pat Johnston Martin Vernon Craig O'Neill Pat Bohan Pat Spencer Nick Janzen
Executive Flight Centre - Donated 400 of the 600 litres of fuel we burned during this event. Thanks very much guys!
The Calgary Flying Club - Giving Canadians wings for 80 years, the club donated the use of its hangar, precious ramp space on a Saturday, and a $70 discovery flight and some other prizes that we gave away to several lucky attendees (see Prizes, below).
Mount Royal College's aviation program - Donated a $70 discovery flight that we gave away to one lucky attendee.
The ground crew
John McEwen - ramp marshal
Al Schink - ground school instructor (and supplier of the beautiful RV-7A used as a static display in the "classroom" during the ground briefings)
Grant Shea - photographer
Bill Beaton - safety supervisor and helping dispatch kids and planes
Rob Caswell - lent me a portable printer for the day
Chad Conrad - registrations
To others who may have been milling about helping, but whom I missed, thanks!
The prize winners
We held a draw for the two discovery flights mentioned above, as well as some attractive active wear donated by the Calgary Flying Club. A few attendees made voluntary cash donations to The Calgary COPA Flight. This will be used to cover some of the fuel used in excess of the amount that Executive Flight donated. Any leftover will go towards offsetting the past and future expenses of the Flight (ink, postage, etc.).
Here are the winners:
Liz Stableford - Discovery flight from Mount Royal College Rob Christie - Discovery flight from the Calgary Flying Club Danny Griffin - CFC ball cap Andrew Niu - CFC sunglasses Pete Maisonneuve - CFC shirt
All the winners have already been notified. Thanks again for your donations.
And a special mention
I want to give special credit to Rene Prevost, the Young Eagles leader who has organized several of these events Calgary in the past. Prior to last year's event he spent time with me in person and on the phone, sharing with me his insights on how to conduct a successful rally, as well as passing on much reference material and many contacts from past events. After doing two of these now, I have an excellence appreciation for how much work goes into one of these, and I tip my hat to Rene.
Captain, The Calgary COPA Flight