Link to COPA National
What's This?

One of the goals of the Airdrie Flying Club is to promote aviation within our community. One of the most successful ways is to introduce youth to flight by providing them with an understanding of what makes an airplane fly, what's involved in becoming a pilot, and then letting them experience a flight in a small airplane first-hand.

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) created a program for kids between the ages of 8 and 17 that gives them the opportunity to take a flight in a typical light general aviation aircraft. In previous years, the Airdrie Flying Club (AFC), and its predecessor ACCOTA, participated in the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)'s Young Eagles program, which was founded by the EAA in 1992 as a means to introduce young people to the joy of flight. Offered free of charge, the success of the Young Eagles program is due to the generosity of pilots around the world. The lofty goal of flying one million Young Eagles before celebrating the 100 years of manned powered flight on December 3, 2003 was met with huge success.


Copa For Kids
Aviation Program

The Airdrie Flying Club is pleased to help introduce youth to aviation.

Aviation is exciting and vital to our nation's future. The COPA For Kids Aviation Program provides -- free of charge -- a motivational aviation experience, initiating young people to the science of flight. The participants will experience an enjoyable flight that will give them new perspectives on the world and life in general.

Kids between the ages of 8 and 17 years can join us in Airdrie for a free first flight. The age restriction is put in place for the safety and comfort of both the children and the pilots. It is also an insurance requirement.

For COPA Flight 134, flying young people has become a highlight of the summer season. One measure of the success of young-person flying programs is that many young people who had an introduction to flying at an early age have gone on to get their pilot licenses and are now flying young people themselves!

Participation in the COPA For Kids Aviation Program will help young people understand that a pilot is simply an ordinary individual with special skills developed through training and practice. The participants will learn the technology and science of flight and be shown the advantages of the hard work required to achieve a pilot's license. Being in the cockpit of a working aircraft in flight will help to de-mystify the art and science of aviation. Many people remember this experience for the rest of their lives. This demonstration flight is offered at no charge.

Participants will experience:

  • A chance to examine a working aircraft close up on the ground (static display).
  • A short ground school session conducted by a pilot who will explain what the various parts of an aircraft are and what they do, and will answer questions about aviation and flying.
  • A walk-around, preferably conducted on a static display aircraft, to show them how pilots prepare for each flight and to brief them on the safety aspects of their flight.
  • A flight in the front seat (if possible) of an aircraft where they will be able to observe all the facets of flight from start-up to take-off, to cruising, to landing and shut-down.

Aviation Program Duration:

  • Ground School: about 20 minutes.
  • Flight: between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the number of young people to fly, the weather and age of the participant.
  • Total experience: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, including ground time, registration, and wait time for aircraft and pilots.

Your pilot will retain a record of the flight and will register the flight in the COPA Junior Aviator Logbook. (To find your name, check the Junior Aviator Logbook on the COPA For Kids website at www.copaforkids.org.)

COPA is the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, a Canadian non-profit Association representing some 18,000 pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts across all the provinces and territories of Canada. Members are of every age group, including many airline and commercial pilots, engineers and business people. They fly all types of aircraft, including "amateur-built" (a category of aircraft designated by Transport Canada, built by individual craftsmen instead of on a factory assembly line).

The 16,000 aircraft belonging to COPA members represent more than half of all the 31,000 aircraft in Canada and can be seen on every airport in Canada.

COPA "Flights" are groups of COPA members from a particular town, city or area, organized into a named Flight which is democratically elected and which follows the rules, principles and objectives of the national COPA organization. Each COPA Flight is provided insurance coverage so that they may carry on a variety of aviation events on a regular basis, including COPA For Kids introductory flights. There are approximately 150 Flights located across Canada.

COPA has a scholarship program to recognize excellence among students who are learning the skills needed in the field of aviation. Through these scholarships, individuals who have a financial need are able to accomplish their goals. For more information, visit www.copaforkids.org.