On Saturday, October 1, 2022, approximately 60 local children and their families were invited by the Cornwall Flying Club/COPA flt 59 to participate in COPA’s Discover Aviation Program. With the help of volunteers and four experienced pilots who donated their time and aircrafts, many kids got to experience what it’s like to fly in a small plane.
COPA is Canada’s largest aviation association, with 200 chapters across Canada. Each chapter hosts their own Discover Aviation events where pilots introduce neighbors, friends, and pilots-in-the-making to the adventures of aviation. The great thing about COPA is that they don’t just invite you to fly for the day – they help you become a pilot too.
“The intent is that we fly them, and we get them to think about flying in the future. Because we’re not going to be around to fly them all the time. We need pilots, so that’s why we do this; it’s our contribution to aviation in town,” explained Cornwall Flying Club President, Earle DePasse.
Discover Aviation days are held twice a year locally, in the Fall and Spring, at the Cornwall Regional Airport in Summerstown. October’s event was the first in three years due to Covid.
When asked about advice for prospective pilots, one Flying Club volunteer said just do it.
“It seems like a lot to get into, but it’s not as difficult as it used to be because most kids have access to a computer. If they can get ahold of a flight simulator, they can figure out what it’s all about. Air cadets is as excellent opportunity because they’ll pay for your license and all you have to do is put in the time and effort.”
As part of COPA’s programming, individuals who are interested in pursuing their private pilot’s license can get a free 1-year membership that includes online ground school and 90 days access to a flight simulator app called Infinite Flight Pro that lets you fly anywhere in the world.