Young people gather in front of the Cessna 206 after their first flight. From left, Jacob Paul, Helen Gwyn, Mark Fox (MAF), Ricky Baker, Alisha Daniels, Sam McNeil, Jemma Nawton and Rick Velvin (pilot).
Young people from Springboard Community Works got their first ever chance to fly in a light plane after a Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) Cessna 206 landed at Kaipara Flats Airfield this month.
The 40-year-old Cessna has been retired from international service with MAF and now visits airfields around New Zealand promoting the organisation’s work.
MAF New Zealand chief executive Mark Fox says someone had the nice idea to take local youth, who had perhaps experienced tough times, for a scenic flight while the plane was in Kaipara.
MAF is a charitable organisation that uses airplanes to assist remote, poorer communities.
Mr Fox said the six-seater Cessna had previously spent much of its life in Cambodia delivering teachers and health workers to remote villages and conducting medical evacuations.
He said planes were also used to deliver produce from remote areas to bigger markets, thereby helping their economic development.
Springboard youth were taken on a 20-minute scenic flight of Omaha and Snells Beach. One marvelled at how pristine the water looked and how it was possible to make out features on the land, including animals.