Glider Pilot Scholarship Cadet Kaira Pitag is congratulated by her instructor, Capt. Sigmund Sort after completing her first solo flight. (Photo contributed by Capt. Shirley Ho)

Victoria Air Cadet sets sight on flight

First solo flight fulfills a dream

The skies above are filled with endless possibilities for a young Victoria air cadet.

Kaira Pitag, a member of the 890 Pacific Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, recently completed her first solo flight on July 29, a huge leap forward toward her dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

Although Pitag wasn’t sure if she would like Air Cadets when she decided to give it a try four years ago, that changed quickly.

“I became more and more intrigued about flying after hearing the stories of the senior cadets,” she said in an interview from CFB Comox. Although she admitted it felt different the first time up in the glider without an instructor, Pitag said she wasn’t nervous at all.

“I sang a song from Pitch Perfect and yelled with joy,” she said. “I felt a sense of freedom. My primary instructor Capt. (Sigmund) Sort was great, and I got a lot of support from my secondary instructor Officer Cadet (Aron) Zhang.”

The 17-year-old Victoria resident is one of a select group of cadets completing the Glider Pilot Scholarship Program this summer, an intense seven-week course that provides classroom training with in-the-air instruction. More than 200 cadets in B.C. are nominated from their home squadron to apply for the scholarship every year. Cadets must be 16 years old, achieve top marks in the Flying Exam and exhibit exemplary academic, leadership and citizenship skills. Successful candidates graduate with a Transport Canada Glider Pilot License. This year, 44 cadets in B.C. were accepted into the program.

Pitag has set her sights on earning a Power Pilot Scholarship when she completes Grade 12 at Spectrum Community School next year. “It may seem far fetched but I believe in aiming high,” she said.

Pitag also enjoys sports, and is a member of Spectrum’s volleyball and basketball teams. “I love to dance as well,” she added. “I’ve taken courses at Spectrum that feature dance.”

Pitag noted that there are many benefits to joining cadets, even for those not interested in pursuing a career as a pilot. “Your hard work will pay off.”

About 20,000 Air, Army and Sea Cadets between 12 and 18 years of age are attending training courses in different locations across Canada this summer.

The Cadet program aims to instill the attributes of leadership, citizenship and physical fitness in participants, as well as cultivate an interest in the land, air and sea elements of the Canadian Armed Forces.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black History Month: Documentary sheds light on black pioneers’ role in Victoria

Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom looks at how a mass migration shaped the capital

Sidney plans to strengthen EV charging requirements

Proposed update expected for spring 2020

Saanich teen serious lawn bowler

Chambers will compete in an international tournament in Australia

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Most Read