Members of the Vernon Flying Club

Members of the Vernon Flying Club

Free flights ready to soar

A group of local pilots and airplane owners is trying to change that by offering free flights for kids Saturday at the Vernon Airport

Experiencing the excitement of flying over the hills and valleys of Vernon is usually left to those lucky enough to own their own airplane.

However, a group of local pilots and airplane owners is trying to change that by offering free flights for kids Saturday at the Vernon Airport.

“To see the smiles on these kids faces when the wheels come off the ground makes it all worth it,” said Barry Jackson, who is a pilot.

“This is a really good chance for kids to see if they’re interested in an aviation career.”

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association for Kids aviation program, run by volunteers out of the Vernon Flying Club, pairs pilots with young people between eight and 17 years of age to give them a taste of flying.

In addition to getting time in the air, participants also take in a ground school session to learn about the airplane, the science of flying, and what it takes to earn their own coveted pilot’s license.

Once back on the ground, junior pilots’ names are added to the virtual logbook to commemorate their flight.

While pilots and owners donate their time, aircraft, and fuel to keep the flights free for all participants, there is also a squadron of additional volunteers that keep the event running.

“Safety is the top priority for everyone, and each pilot is licensed by Transport Canada,” said Jackson.

To find out more, future aviators can visit http://copaforkids.org or to register by e-mail at copa.vernon@shaw.ca