By Alexia Johnston
South Canterbury’s promising young aviators are taking their love of flying to new heights.
Blair Stevenson (16), Alesha Martin (16) and Lucy Cooper (17), who are members of the South Canterbury branch of Young Eagles, have been selected to represent the organisation at a national level at this week’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
The Young Eagles programme supports children who want to learn about flying and aircraft and is supported by the country’s aero clubs.
The teens were selected by Flying New Zealand to help showcase Young Eagles throughout the three-day show, which starts tomorrow.
Their involvement at the show adds to what has been a trail of success for Young Eagles in South Canterbury.
Blair received a Ross Macpherson Scholarship, a nationwide award, which was presented to him during this month’s National Flying Championships, hosted in Timaru.
The scholarship, which is open to all Young Eagles members across the country, is valued at $3500 and is to go towards developing the recipient’s flying skills.
South Canterbury Aero Club chief flying instructor Aaron Pearce said aero clubs could enter as many Young Eagles as they wanted, but up until now only one per club had been awarded the scholarship.
“What happened this year was South Canterbury’s Young Eagles had so many placings in the top 10 so they changed the rule.”
As a result, Alesha also received a Ross Macpherson scholarship, along with Ben Williams (15) and Scott Wright (16).
Lucy was last year awarded an Air Safari scholarship, valued at $4000, and sat out of the running this year as she was grateful for the support she had already received.
Blair, Alesha and Lucy had since been recruited to help “spread the word” about Young Eagles during Warbirds Over Wanaka.