Children get wings for Christmas
In the South
Santa would struggle to top the gift an Alexandra pilot has bestowed upon 12 deserving children.
Fly Alexandra pilot Nick Taylor, spent yesterday afternoon flying children above Alexandra and Clyde.
"It's great to give children a Christmas present and a way to help out. I can do something I think is quite easy and those kids get a blast out of it. Many of them would not usually have a chance to get that experience," Mr Taylor said.
The flight was sponsored by local businesses, C&R Insurance and McLellans Plumbing.
Alexandra community liaison officer Raewyn Cockrane said it was the third year in a row the gift of a flight had been offered.
"Nick has done this every year since he came on. It was like he was the lollipop man when he turned up with the idea. I can't believe someone would do that."
Clyde mum Kelly Millan said her boys bounced out of bed with excitment the morning of the flight.
Mr Taylor had rung Clyde Primary School principal Doug White earlier that week asking him to nominate three deserving children for a free flight.
"He is giving them an opportunity my kids would not normally have. It's something I could not provide for them. It is definitely different than a commercial flight. They are getting made to feel really special and are getting to say where they want to fly."
Cody Millan, 10, got more than to direct where they flew, he came off the plane buzzing after being allowed to fly it.
"(Mr Taylor) let go and I just started steering. It was a bit confusing how when you push down you go up."
James Ensor-Velenski, 10, of Clyde could not have wished for a better gift, his mother Kristy Velenski said.
"He is a flying fanatic. That is all he has ever wanted to be - just fly. Anything that takes off from the ground he is interested in it. I think flying is in the blood.
"My dad was a helicopter pilot. He was killed 22 years ago and we have got pictures of him everywhere and models of helicopters and James is obsessed with them."
- The Mirror