Riverside’s Flying Club learned about the high life on Thursday, September 29, with Canada’s youngest Hot Air Balloon pilot, Evan Erickson. The 25 year old told his story, and inspired all of Riverside’s young aviators. The story of his balloon and his journey through his passion for this career was the subject of his visit to Riverside’s Flying Club hosted by Ms. Teena Della.


Evan grew up in Vernon, but when he decided to take it up as a career, there weren’t a lot of Hot Air Balloon pilots in Canada, so he did his research, and found himself training with an expert named Dale Lang in a small town of Taber in Alberta. Evan Erickson has been following Lang’s career passion for one year now, and is very happy with his employment. “I’m happy with my career, it’s entertaining, breathtaking, and is statistically the safest form of flight,” said Evan Erickson. Evan Erickson doesn’t only use his balloon for his career, he’s also participated in many National competitions across North America, and has participated in Air Shows such as the Abbotsford Air Show here in BC. “I like the feel of competition, and with the various contests and wind, there’s a lot of factors that turn it into a very strategic game,” said Evan Erickson. “I’ve always loved hot air balloons, all the artistic styles; I liked to draw them and participate at Vernon’s Hot Air Balloon Festival during the winter, and I’ve always shared a love for aviation,” said Evan Erickson. Della has held this Flying Club since 2013, and loves being the hostess of conducting all these activities. “It’s great and a fun experience to meet people I haven’t known, and share the same things I love with others,” said Della. One of the two-year attendees of this club, Michael Kovtchega, has adored this particular academic. “I chose it to expand my love for aviation, and to learn more about being at the various workplaces and experiencing all of its opportunities,” said Michael.