”My house is so small!”
That was just one of Chloe Friesen and Jaidyn Lange’s observations as they flew above the South Cariboo last weekend during the 100 Mile Flying Club’s 10th Annual Junior Aviator Day. Both agreed that their first time in an airplane will not be one they soon forget.
“We just wanted to go and fly and see what it’s like,” Chloe said. “We saw a different point of view (up there.)”
Jaidyn, who lives in Lac La Hache, said the experience was awesome and her expectations were blown out of the water.
“I thought stuff was going to be a little bit bigger than it seemed. Everything looked like ants,” Jaidyn recalled. “It was incredible, an amazing feeling.”
That kind of reaction is exactly what Ursula Hart, president of the flying club, wants to foster in the community’s youth. This year, for the club’s 10th consecutive flying day she said they had six planes take 44 children up into the air.
“We’ve seldom had such a beautiful day and I think everyone really enjoyed getting involved and showing the kids their backyards,” Hart said. “It has been a really chill, lovely day to do this. It was like glass up there, no turbulence at all.’”
Hart said thanks to the number of pilots those who attended didn’t have to wait long to get into a plane. After a 10-minute basic ground school, groups of three were taken up into the skies in a Cessna. One of the pilots was Len Aune, who took Chloe and Jaidyn up for their first time.
“It’s been a great day. A real laid back beautiful day, might as well be in the middle of summer,” Aune said. “This kind of weather is perfect for flying. The kids enjoyed it, I know.”
Right now Hart said there are a lot of career opportunities in the aviation industry for young people including ground crew, mechanics, cabin crew, air traffic control and pilots. Aune, who has been flying since 1982, said it makes him happy to see young people take an interest in flying.
Chloe and Jaidyn agreed that they’d love the chance to go on another flight someday. They both also said they’re open to the idea of pursuing a career of some kind in the aviation industry, Chloe adding she’d like the be a pilot.
“At a younger age I kind of wanted to be a mechanic but our pilot said pilots and engineers are needed so now I’m kind of considering engineering,” Jaidyn said.
The event is financially supported by the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House.