Cross Canada Solo Challenge

Donor agrees to match any donations that the challenge generates, up to $10,000

By Kevin Psutka


On July 10th, 2012 sixteen year old Matthew Gougeon, of Sudbury, Ontario, fulfilled a dream when he embarked on a solo flight across Canada in an amphibious Cessna 182  and consequently he became the youngest pilot to fly this type of airplane solo from Canada’s West to East coasts.

Matthew has been flying all his life, taking the controls of his father’s aircraft at only seven years old. He began flight training at age 13 and by the age of 15 had completed his first solo flight.

In the summer of 2011 he received a recreational pilot permit and, soon after, he achieved his seaplane rating. Since then he has been logging time in the Cessna he used to fly across the country. For safety, his father was nearby in a chase plane.

Details of Matthew’s adventure can be found on his web site

Matthew’s adventure is called a challenge because he challenged himself to fly solo across the country but there is also an additional challenge. He wants to help young people less fortunate than himself to realize their aviation dream by challenging everyone he meets to make donations to COPA’s Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund.

An anonymous donor has agreed to match any donations that the challenge generates, up to $10,000.

This adventure provides excellent nation-wide publicity for the Fund, whose purpose is to provide flight training to worthy young people who might not otherwise be able to pursue their love of flight and who exemplify the fine character, optimism and love of adventure which were epitomized by former COPA President Neil J. Armstrong.

I challenge all members to get behind this enthusiastic young man as he achieves a personal challenge and helps COPA, through the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund, to help our youth aim high. Make a donation to the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund today and mention that it is in honour of Matthew’s Cross Country Solo Challenge.