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Local air cadet flying high with pilot wings


DEBERT – Peter Betts has had the most liberating summer of his life.

The 16-year-old teenager from Brookfield spent the summer continuing a family tradition.

“My great-uncle, father and grandfather are all pilots,” Peter said, shortly after receiving his pilot wings from the Regional Gliding School (Atlantic) on Thursday morning at the Debert Airport.

“It was challenging but definitely fun. There was a lot of bookwork; it’s not all about flying a plane. You need to know theory and guidelines,” said Peter, adding it was surprising how quickly the course got students behind the glider controls.

“Within the first week and a half we were flying. It was very liberating … when you are up there alone, you feel free.”

The six-week program marked the end of a summer of learning how to fly single-engine aircraft for air cadets to become Transport Canada licensed glider or private pilots through the Air Cadet Glider Pilot Scholarship and Power Pilot Scholarship programs. Thursday’s graduation ceremony recognized 40 cadets from the glider and 19 cadets from the power pilot programs.

The power pilot program is next on Peter’s to-do list.

“I want to go next summer to that and get my private pilot’s license,” said Peter, who is entering Grade 12 at Ecole acadienne de Truro.

Lieutenant Stacey Hoffe, unit public relations co-ordinator, told the Truro Daily News the sense of accomplishment goes beyond the graduates.

“The gliding school has a long history here. This community is very proud of it,” Hoffe said.

She said it takes very specific skills to be a good pilot and program candidate.

“A person needs to have excellent team work skills and be a hard worker. There are many physical and academic challenges and they have to be determined … but they gain life skills that are beneficial no matter what they do in life.”

The Regional Gliding School in Debert is one of four cadet summer training centres in Atlantic Canada. Cadets from across Canada attended and the school also has three satellite locations, in Waterville, N.S., Moncton, N.B., and Gander, N.L.

 

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

 

 

The 16-year-old teenager from Brookfield spent the summer continuing a family tradition.

“My great-uncle, father and grandfather are all pilots,” Peter said, shortly after receiving his pilot wings from the Regional Gliding School (Atlantic) on Thursday morning at the Debert Airport.

“It was challenging but definitely fun. There was a lot of bookwork; it’s not all about flying a plane. You need to know theory and guidelines,” said Peter, adding it was surprising how quickly the course got students behind the glider controls.

“Within the first week and a half we were flying. It was very liberating … when you are up there alone, you feel free.”

The six-week program marked the end of a summer of learning how to fly single-engine aircraft for air cadets to become Transport Canada licensed glider or private pilots through the Air Cadet Glider Pilot Scholarship and Power Pilot Scholarship programs. Thursday’s graduation ceremony recognized 40 cadets from the glider and 19 cadets from the power pilot programs.

The power pilot program is next on Peter’s to-do list.

“I want to go next summer to that and get my private pilot’s license,” said Peter, who is entering Grade 12 at Ecole acadienne de Truro.

Lieutenant Stacey Hoffe, unit public relations co-ordinator, told the Truro Daily News the sense of accomplishment goes beyond the graduates.

“The gliding school has a long history here. This community is very proud of it,” Hoffe said.

She said it takes very specific skills to be a good pilot and program candidate.

“A person needs to have excellent team work skills and be a hard worker. There are many physical and academic challenges and they have to be determined … but they gain life skills that are beneficial no matter what they do in life.”

The Regional Gliding School in Debert is one of four cadet summer training centres in Atlantic Canada. Cadets from across Canada attended and the school also has three satellite locations, in Waterville, N.S., Moncton, N.B., and Gander, N.L.

 

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

 

 

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