Local pilots donate time to take kids to new heights
A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web-Extra
The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association hosted a Fly With Kids day Saturday in Whitehorse.
On hand were an RV8, RV6, Cessna 172, Cessna 206 and a Turbo Beaver that the kids got to fly in. Pilots and owners donated their planes, fuel and time to get kids interested in aviation.
“These days, the only thing kids know is going through security and sitting in a jet,” says Ken Rombough, president of COPA 106. But the kids got the full treatment Saturday. They even got a run-down on how everything worked during a “ground school” session with pilot, Miles Hryniuk.
Miles says it’s great to see kids start to connect how a plane works. He’d show them how the different controls inside would affect the plane and movement of the plane. “Some of the older kids were asking really great questions,” he said.
“These days, the only thing kids know is going through security and sitting in a jet.”
Children from 7-18 were allowed to come out for the event. Food was provided by the local Independent Grocery store, and cooked up by the Lions Club.
The group has held Fly With Kids events several times over the last 6 years in Whitehorse, Atlin, Teslin and Carcross. It’s been on hiatus for the last three due to timing and budget constraints.
The kids who showed up to this year’s event were all smiles, with some even taking advantage of the lack of visitors to stick around for multiple rides.
“When I saw the other kids start to show up I knew I wouldn’t be getting out of here for a while,” said Dayna Lessard, mother of Zachary. Zach managed to squeeze in a few plane rides Saturday when his friends Kieran and Fynn Ritchie showed up.
After their flight with pilot Trent Jamieson the kids were all smiles. Both Kieran and Zachary both gave an emphatic “yes!” when asked if they might be pilots, although Fynn said he’ll probably stick to hockey.
Their favourite part of the day? Riding in the planes of course.
Rombough says it’s as much fun for the pilots as it is for the children. “It starts these guys on a journey,” he said.
A long journey, according to him. One that creates a family-hood among pilots because of the amount of training involved.
“When you learn to fly it becomes a part of you,” he said. “There’s something in it for everyone.”
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