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Hamilton Child Flight raises funds to give children wings

Florence Kerr, Waikato Times

children stood next to plane

A charity that gives children who face challenges wings, did just that on Sunday. 

Child Flight Charitable Trust gives children facing daily challenges across a wide spectrum the opportunity to fly in a small aircraft for 30 minutes  with  a voluntary pilot.

It was part of an event held at Hamilton Airport's international lounge, to promote Child Flight's 'Mobbed Project', a programme offered to all the mainstream schools in the Waikato to give children flight. 

More than 250 people attended the event. 

Child Flight chief executive Chris Jordan said the DC3 aeroplane which was due from Ardmore, which had 100 seats ready for the kids and their special buddies, could not make it to Hamilton due to the erratic weather.

However a four seater Piper Arrow and a Cessna 172 filled the void and were able to take a group of children up before they had to call it quits due to the weather. 

Jordan said the day was about raising funds for Mobbed. 

Kacey Miezenbeek, 10, her brother Cullen, 7 and dad Carl came to the airport to support the cause and won a raffle to go for a ride on the Piper Arrow. 

"It was cool, a bit bumpy, but very cool," Kacey said. 

Carl said the family had turned up not expecting any flights, and was pleasantly surprised to win the raffle. 

Volunteer pilot Aaron Martin has donated his time to the project since the initiative started in 2012. 

"I've been doing flights for three and a half years and I'm still blown away by the reaction of the kids when they get up in the air." 

Pilot Andrew Stent, who volunteered his time to fly the Cessna 172, said this was his first stint flying for the charity and believed it was worth while. 

"Seeing the look on the kids faces, their smiles, it really is priceless." 

Jordan said the DC3 aeroplane will be scheduled to come to Hamilton next month for Child Flight. 

24 May 2015