Abbotsford Flying Club's 'first flight' program brought over 120 boys and girls to Abbotsford International Airport to experience a flight in a small plane.

Abbotsford Flying Club's 'first flight' program brought over 120 boys and girls to Abbotsford International Airport to experience a flight in a small plane.

First Flight Program takes children on an amazing ride

First Flight program, now in it's eighth year, takes children 7-13 years for their first ride on a small airplane.

The Abbotsford Flying Club set out to inspire a new generation of pilots, with its eighth annual First Flight for Kids event.

On Saturday Sept. 10, children 7 to 13 years of age were invited to take a short flight over Abbotsford in airplanes belonging to various members of the club for free.

The pilots donated the use of their aircraft and their time, a cost of at least $150 an hour, according to AFC president Steve Steward.

More than 100 participants were able to experience flying in a more fun and direct way on smaller planes than a seat on a commercial airline allows, said Steward.

The motivation for the event is to ignite a passion for aviation among the younger generation, according to Steward, who said the goal has already been successful. He said past participants have gone on to join Air Cadets, take Abbotsford School District’s Aviation Ground School Course in grade 12 and then begin training for a commercial pilot’s licence – a journey that began with a short fun flight over Abbotsford.

Next year’s event will be the best and biggest yet, if all goes according to plan.

Steward said he hopes to see 150 kids get up in the air, as a celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.