By Sean Smith, Site Supervisor – Campbell River, Comox Cadet Flying Training Centre
While many 17-year-olds are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to take their drivers test and get their licence, eight Royal Canadian Air Cadets have spent the past few weeks studying and practicing to get a different licence; a licence to fly.
Since July 1, cadets from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island have been in the classroom and in airplanes as part of the seven-week Power Pilot Scholarship Program based out of the Cadet Flying Training Centre at 19 Wing Comox.
A local flight school, Sealand Flight, once again has the contract to train cadets in preparation to take the flight test and Transport Canada exam and earn their private pilot wings. The Department of National Defence pays for all flight training.
The journey to participate in the Power Pilot Scholarship Program is not easy. The cadets who apply have to prove their ability, determination and fitness through a series of exams, interviews, a high school academic assessment and service within their respective Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons. Hundreds apply for the program every year, but only a select few make the final cut and earn their place in the training that happens every summer.
A total of 32 cadets from B.C. started training in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Campbell River, with more cadets training at Cadet Flying Training Centres in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
For more information on the Cadets Canada Program, visit http://www.cadets.ca