Campbell River teens learn how to build their own planes


 Teenagers in Campbell River are tackling an extraordinary school project, that you have to see to believe. They’re building an aircraft with their bare hands, then hopping aboard and flying in it.
 Teen Flight, is a first of its kind program in Canada that’s changing the horizons of students who never imagined they could do something like this.

Bill Alder still remembers being these high school students age, when his love of airplanes took flight. 

“I just love it. It’s been my life really,” says the owner of Sealand Aviation. 

 50 years of success in the aviation industry later he’s paying it forward to Campbell River high school students

“And I thank him pretty much everyday of my life for doing this,” says student Julia Deal.

“It’s remarkable what he’s been able to do here and what he’s given to make this a success for the kids,” says Supt. Tom Longridge of School District 72.

Twice a week in Alder’s Sealand Aviation hangar at the Campbell River airport, the teens from Campbell River School District high schools and their mentors meet to do the amazing. What seemed unbelievable to Kayle Majic before she started.

“I got to build a plane at the age of 14 right,” says Majic. 

“Oh yeah they’re literally building a plane from the ground up,” says Supt. Tom Longridge.

This is the second plane project since Teen Flight started here three years ago. A first of its kind program in Canada, where students earn work experience credits from their school district to learn the nuts and bolts of the aviation industry.

“I think it’s really cool because we’re building an airplane from pieces of metal,” says Julia Deal.

“There’s so much that they can do and it’s all stuff that people aren’t really aware of, they don’t think of aviation as a career,” says Alder.

The students first kit plane took 600 hours to complete, but Julia Deal says it was all worth it when the students got to fly in it.

 “Just seeing it fly for the first time was amazing it was a beautiful sight,” says Deal. 

The first kit-built plane is now up for auction at to fund more plane projects.  As Alder’s hopes of sparking kids interest in aviation, soars beyond even his hopes in Campbell River.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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