Kids check out one of the aircrafts at the Qualicum Beach Airshow last month. On Aug. 26, the Qualicum Beach Flying Club will be hosting its annual free flights for kids. — NEWS file photo

Qualicum Beach Flying Club hosting free flights

COPA for Kids is an aviation program that provides an intro into the world of general aviation

Qualicum Beach Flying Club is again hosting its annual free flights for kids between eight and 17 years old.

COPA for Kids (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) is an aviation program that provides an introduction for youth into the world of general aviation. According to COPA’s website, the program has introduced more than 23,000 young Canadians to the basics of aviation.

It will be held at the Qualicum Beach Airport on Saturday, August 26, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organizer Paul Connor said about 90 kids usually register for the event. The flight will include a discussion on the theory of flight, a preflight inspection of the aircraft and an approximate 20-minute local flight.

“They learn how planes fly, how planes work, the various control surfaces on the airplane, the instruments in the plane, so they get a good introduction as to how an airplane works,” Connor said.

The kids, Connor said, love the flight.

“You always know they’re absolutely gobsmacked because they go absolutely quiet, and you look at them and their eyes are wide open,” he said. “The pilots love it as well because they get such great reaction from the kids. It comes from both sides. The pilots and the kids just have a great time.”

People can pre-register by Tuesday, Aug 22 at the following locations: Bayview Dental Clinic (Suite 202, 661 Primrose Street, Qualicum Beach), Crossfit Qualicum Beach (Suite 101, 166 First Ave., West) and Skydive Vancouver Island (Hangar 6A, 1000 Ravensbourne Lane).

Connor said he organizes the flight times for the kids and will contact the parents to let them know when the flight time is.