Cadets from provinces including and east of Ontario are working on getting their glider pilot licences this month.
“A lot of past cadets end up being astronauts or commercial pilots even, and they start off with their glider pilot’s licence,” said Connor Snair, an officer cadet.
He’s a trainer with the Glider Pilot Scholarship Course, which is run in Debert, N.S, at its eponymous airport.
The seven-week program has 42 participants, including Erin Bouzane.
“There’s a lot of turbulence, but it’s pretty good,” said the 17-year-old, who is from St. John’s. “I recently stopped sewing lessons, and I didn’t really have a lot to do. There was a cadet program in my area, and I really like planes, so I was like, ‘why not?'”
Michaela Wheaton, 18, participated in the program two years ago and is now a staff cadet.
“We’re always going down. You don’t have the option to stay up like a powered aircraft would, but it’s incredibly liberating to be up there by yourself,” she said.
She said she developed a lot of skills because of the program, namely leadership and teamwork.
“The only time you’re physically alone is when you’re in the air but even still, you have your radios, you’re talking to the control officers, you’re talking to other planes in the air,” Wheaton said.
“You’re never really alone, no matter what you think.”
The program is expected to wrap up next Friday, Aug. 12.