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Northern Flight does it right, 42 youth take floatplane rides

By Hal Logsdon

 

The NWT Floatplane Association/ COPA Flight 108 held their third annual COPA for Kids event on July 21, giving 42 kids an opportunity to fly in a floatplane on Yellowknife Bay.

Our event is somewhat unique in that all of our participating aircraft are on floats. The event has always been popular so we require preregistration to ensure that every kid who signs up gets a ride. We had a good weather day with seven participating aircraft.

We scheduled three flight times — 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. — to ensure that we finished up before the flights got too bumpy.

We had a check-in desk, where our volunteers checked the registration and waiver documents and a dispatch desk where we assigned kids to the next available aircraft. All of the certificates were filled out prior to the event, needing only the pilot to sign them after the flight. Our dock handlers made sure that the dock environment was safe and assisted pilots with departures and arrivals.

Each flight was provided with a brief orientation to the aircraft and the principles of flight and shown what is involved in a preflight inspection. Then it was into the aircraft, get buckled up and go flying.

All the aircraft flew a similar route within the control zone. All of the kids had headphones so they could hear the pilot and ATC. Many of the kids had never been in a small aircraft or a floatplane before and there was much excitement to be had. Kids, parents and pilots all had a great time.

At the conclusion of the event, two draws for drums of 100 LL were held with all participating pilots being eligible. Jesse Jasper and Kevin Brezinski were the lucky winners.

Our thanks go out to the Nav Canada staff at YZF for their cooperation, Plummer’s Arctic Lodges for allowing us to use their floatbase, and Bassett Petroleum and Bonnie Logsdon for donating fuel for the draw.