Kelowna kids take to the sky with COPA event

The Kelowna Flying Club invited youth between the ages of eight and 17 to join them.

Okanagan kids are having a high flying time at the Kelowna International Airport today.

The Kelowna Flying Club invited youth between the ages of eight and 17 to join them and take flight through the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s Kids Aviation Program, a motivational exercise to help encourage young people to take up an interest in flying.

Participants have been getting the chance to have a close-up look at aircraft on the ground and attend a short ground school session where they will learn about the airplanes and ask questions about aviation and flying.

Pilots are demonstrating how to prepare for each flight with a pre-flight walk around highlighting on safety aspects of their flight before take-off.

Veteran pilot Dave McElroy is the current president of the Kelowna and District Flying Club and has plenty of air miles under his belt.

In 2014 he flew a Piper Comanche around the world which raised over $150,000 for two charities and this year he and two other pilots did the Give Hope Wings sojourn to South America raising over a half-million dollars for charity.

“What could be more fun than flying on a day like this, young people, introducing them to aviation, the joy of flight, it doesn’t get any better than this,” said McElroy in a Black Press interview earlier this month.

He previously received the prestigious Norton Griffiths Challenge Trophy from the Royal Aero Club in London for “outstanding feats of courage, tenacity and imagination.”

He added: “Just seeing the smiles on the faces, they vary some are shy this one’s (new passenger Hayden Wild) is not so shy. I think she’s going to be great, I like the ones that talk and ask questions.”

It’s a fun-filled event for the entire family with food and refreshments available for purchase from Mission Lions Club and a Shave Ice Truck.

Other activities will include aviation-related exhibits, displays and activities. Participating exhibitors include Medevac, Search and Rescue, RCMP, charter aircraft, a Flight School, Face Painting, a Kiddie Plane Train and Kidz Korner.

The event takes place today, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Kelowna Flying Club, 6135 Airport Way (Apron 3) at Kelowna International Airport.

For more information email c4k@kelownaflyingclub.com.

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