Flight event promoted flying for children

WINTERSVILLE – Dozens of kids interested in flight and flying were on hand Saturday at the Ralph Freshwater Terminal at the Jefferson County Airpark for a program designed to promote flying.

The event, organized by Natalie Campana – one of the only licensed female pilots in Jefferson County – was to show young ladies – and some young boys – that learning to fly could be fun. Campana said the program was part of Women of Aviation Week, and was planned in partnership with the Pier Aviation Flight School.

“The elementary school-age children are making airplane gliders, while they also are making airplane magnets,” said Campana, adding the day also included mini-flight school, airplane photographs, pizza and some of the older pupils taking a ride in an airplane. “The middle school-aged children went to mini-flight school today. They also got to tour the airplane out on the tarmac.”

During the flight school children learned about navigation charts, aerodynamics, pilot language and weather conditions necessary for safe flight. Women of Aviation Week, which is being celebrated internationally, is to encourage young ladies to experience flight for themselves, said Campana.

“This is all based on Women in Aviation Week,” she said. “The goal is to get at least 15,000 kids nationally into the sky.”

Campana, who said she was happy with the day’s turnout, also said the weather was perfect for flight, and she expected 15 kids would be taking their first-ever flight in a small airplane by the end of Saturday’s event. She added those attending the family-friendly event seemed to be enjoying themselves.

“They are having a ball,” said Campana, adding she’s planning to make the event an annual tradition.