Royal Canadian Air Cadets have been providing glider training to cadets since 1971.
Cadets in the Glider Pilot Scholarship program from across Ontario have been earning their wings at Mountain View Airport in Prince Edward County since 2012.
That moment for Warrant Officer Owen Hoelscher happened two years ago.
Hoelscher, now 18, has earned his private pilot licence since and says flying is a career goal.
“I’ll be going to Conestoga College in the fall for aviation and I’ll be getting my commercial pilot licence,” Hoelscher said, “and hopefully one day I’ll be working for Air Canada.”
Hoelscher is now back in a supervisory role, making sure the summer training goes as planned.
Warrant Officer Molly Mallette earned her glider wings yesterday.
She says she was nervous about the practical test but her training and preparations took over.
“You’ve done it over and over, you know what you need to correct, so there’s always that sense of reassurance so it went pretty good and I passed,” Mallette said.
Sixteen-year-old Flight Sergeant Dhruv Upadhyay also passed his test, and like Hoelscher, his ambitions include flying.
Upadhyay says he’s working towards becoming a test pilot and eventually an astronaut.
He says the scholarship program and air cadets has helped provide him with the confidence to pursue those lofty goals.
“Giving 16-year-olds the opportunity to experience flight, empowering us to be leaders in our own squadron and the community, the air cadet gliding program has given us so much.”
Upadhyay and 59 other cadets that have passed the scholarship program will be presented their glider wings in a ceremony later this month.