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COPA for Kids day introduces 136 to flying

By Flavelle Barrett

 

Following unfavourable weather on our planned Saturday, September 8 date, our club, parents and kids, regrouped on our rain date, Sunday, September 9, for our second annual COPA for Kids event at Kawartha Lakes Municipal Airport, Lindsay.

Even though we experienced early morning fog in Peterborough, grounding three of our participating planes for one hour, and endured brief rain showers early afternoon, COPA Flight 101 successfully flew 136 kids, utilizing nine planes and 12 very dedicated pilots.

Kids were treated to a 20-minute safety ground school, working with three static high-wing planes; a Murphy Rebel, a Cessna 172, and an Aviat Husky.

Following ground school the plane loading teams safely positioned the kids in the participating planes. Kids were flown on a 20-minute circuit along the west shore of Sturgeon Lake, over the town of Fenelon Falls, along the south shore of Cameron Lake before returning over rural farmland to Lindsay airport. All the young aviators received a signed personalized Certificate of Flight, and a free hot dog and pop. A photo was taken of each kid with their pilot and plane, to be emailed to parents following the event.

This year we were able to arrange for a very special plane to visit on the day of our COPA for Kids event. The plane is a Russian-built Antonov AN2, the world’s largest single engine biplane, featuring a 1,000-hp radial engine that consumes 50 gph of gas, and can fly as slow as 35 mph.

We are very grateful to Lee Barker and his team from Oshawa, for arranging to fly in to Lindsay and set up on static display for hundreds of parents, kids and volunteers to admire, both inside and outside.

COPA Flight 101 is particularly grateful to the 50 volunteers who worked hard to make this day such a success, as well as receiving full support from our local Flying School and our famous Airportview restaurant.