Local Area Pilots Share Their Passion… COPA for Kids

COPA for Kids
Kim Park welcomes a new flight crew

Additional Story & Photo Credit: Josh Rogers

Ever wonder what the Sault Area looks like from above? Or maybe you’re curious how airplanes work and possibly even dream about becoming a pilot some day.

Well this past Saturday over 150 kids were treated to an adventure they won’t soon forget thanks to the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flight 66. It has been over 10 years since the Young Eagles held a similar event and COPA Flight 66 President Simone Baj was excited to rekindle the relationship between area youth and pilots.

COPA for KidsThe event was held in front of the MNR Hangar where local area pilots volunteered both their time and aircraft. Sault Search and Rescue were on hand to help keep the event safe as well as Sault Airport emergency responders who jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate fire fighting equipment.

COPA for Kids

As kids arrived, they were provided with diagrams and written material to complete a mini ground school with Terry Mortimore. A small Cessna 152 was parked in the middle of the tarmac to aid Terry as he provided hands on instruction on various parts of a plane which enable it to fly, instrumentation and even the important pre-flight checks every pilot is required to perform. After successfully graduating Terry’s ground school, groups of 3-4 kids were escorted to awaiting aircraft where pilots gave them the opportunity to put their new found knowledge to good use, up in the air! I don’t know who had the biggest smiles, the kids or the pilots.

Piper Seneca – JJ Hilsinger
Cessna 182 – Doug LawsonCessna 172 – Doug Snedden
Piper Warrior II – Kim Park
Zlin 242L – Mike Hrab (Sault College)

Cessna 172 – Lloyd Richards
(Northern Ontario Director of COPA – flew in from Timmins)

Representatives from the 155 Bordan Gray Air Cadet Squadron were also on hand to provide information. While learning the theory of flight, Cadets participate as team members in drill, Pipe and Drum Band, Highland dancing and marksmanship while meeting new friends and having fun. Twice a year, they participate in a gliding weekend, where the cadets work as ground crew and then each has the opportunity to fly in a two seater glider. As a cadet progresses through the training years, opportunities are available to those who pass the qualifications and are selected to attend flight training where the cadet can earn their glider pilot license and even, in following years, a power pilots license. Both of these are at no monetary cost to the cadet. Over a thousand cadets have gone through the ranks of the 155 and have experienced flights. Numerous cadets have earned their pilot wings. Many have made flying their profession, some flying civilian small to the largest passenger planes, for the military in helicopters, the Snowbirds acrobatic team and F-18 Fighter aircraft.

For more information on COPA you can visit them on the web at www.copanational.org. For information on the 155 Bordan Gray Air Cadet Squadron, visit www.aircadets.ca/155.

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