Fifteen young adults from the Moricetown band, near Smithers B.C., spent four months fundraising to pay for a day of flight lessons.

The youths, aged 16 to 28, did odd jobs in their community and sold treats in town to come up with the cash.

Their youth program mentor, Robert Stewart, convinced them to raise $3,350 for the day of lessons, hoping to inspire some of them to become bush pilots.

Stewart saw it as a potential career for many of them since northern B.C. relies on bush pilots for many supplies, and to transport people in need of medical attention.

Flight instructor Eric Stier

Flight instructor, Eric Stier, stands in front of one of the 172 Cessna bush planes he used to teach the young Moricetown residents how to fly. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

Chief flight instructor, Eric Stier, said it's important to show the students that they can tackle difficult tasks and succeed.

"It doesn't really get old because within a matter of minutes they are actually holding an aircraft whether it's in a climb, or in cruise, or a turn, and they're doing it really well actually," said Stier.

Brandon Dennis, 23, grew up flying with his grandfather and was excited to get back into the air.
Bush plane

The youths flew this 172 Cessna bush plane. (Jordan Tucker/CBC)

"The first time I ever flew, it was just unreal. It's a big thing for me and I'm really happy that this opportunity came knocking at the door," said Dennis.


He is excited to show his grandfather photos of his flight and says he is now hoping to get more lessons in order to work toward becoming a pilot.

With files from Jordan Tucker.