Future leaders earning wings in history

Air cadets from across B.C. take part in Yellow Wings Youth Leadership initiative at Victoria airport

Air cadet Felix Chan of Richmond peers out of the cockpit of a Boeing Stearman biplane as Vintage Wings of Canada pilot Derek Blatchford taxis from the Victoria Flying Club hangar. The aircraft was taking cadets

Roaring to life, the engine of the Boeing Stearman biplane pulls the aircraft forward on the tarmac of the Victoria International Airport.

On board is Vintage Wings of Canada pilot Derek Blatchford and Richmond air cadet Felix Chan. Chan is one of 50 cadets who were able to get into the sky aboard the Second World War-era training plane, as part of Vintage Wings’ Yellow Wings Leadership initiative this week.

“They are getting about a 40-minute experience in the aircraft,” says Todd Lemieux, program team leader and chairman of the board for Vintage Wings of Canada.

The cadets are in the program to learn about aviation and aerospace technology, science and math — with the goal of helping create future leaders and  turning youth on to careers in the field. Viking Air is a supporter of the program, Lemieux said, and are interested in helping create a new base of workers in the industry.

“We are teaching the cadets about the history of the aircraft and about who the plane is named for — Warrant Offer Harry Hannah. It’s a combination of skills training and good citizenship.”

Vintage Wings will be conducting 500 flights on heritage aircraft across Canada this year, hoping to reach 6,000 youth.

Air cadets at the Victoria Flying Club hanger for the activity were part of a group on their Power Scholarship course this summer. Captain Amélie Leduc, regional cadet public affairs officer, says the youth will end up getting their pilots licence once they complete the program, which takes place over three weeks.

“The cadets are here from all over B.C.,” she said, adding they learn about all sorts of jobs, from flying and technology to public relations.

Flight Corporal Florence Calder from Nelson says her flight on the Stearman was “amazing.”

“It was really fun,” she said, adding they received a quick lesson on how to hold onto the controls and once in the air, they were allowed to take the stick and fly on their own — under supervision, of course.

Calder said she has been in cadets for two years and joined because she enjoys aircraft and hopes to earn her pilots licence. She is part of a contingent of some 1,000 cadets, she said, at Albert Head this summer for a variety of courses.

Corporal Felix Chan, from Richmond, says he enjoyed his turn at the controls of the Stearman, adding he too wants to be a pilot someday.

“I enjoyed the take off and landing,” he said, noting that the experience was quite different from flying gliders, a typical activity for air cadets.

“It makes sharper turns,” he said of the vintage biplane. “In a glider, you don’t pitch around as much.”

Vintage Wings of Canada, based in Gatineau, Quebec, tells the story of historic aircraft and the people who flew them. To learn more about them and about the Yellow Wings youth Leadership initiative, visit www.vintagewings.ca or www.yellowwings.ca.

 

Just Posted

More Peninsula councillors declare their 2018 intentions

Carl Jensen and Chris Graham, both of Central Saanich, have said they will run again.

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read