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

Three rescued after canoe capsizes near Oak Bay

Private vessel finds canoe, brings people ashore

Greater Victoria charities organize physically distanced tent, sleeping bag drive

Neighbourhood Response Team accepts sleeping bags, mats and tents Saturday in Victoria

UPDATED: Crash snarls early morning Malahat traffic

Incident backed up commuters near Okotoks Drive

Frontline volunteers bring handwashing stations to Pandora tent city and beyond

‘The basic premise of this is to fight COVID-19 … right?’

West Shore podcast highlights COVID-19 pandemic and local businesses

Westshore Business podcast to look at how businesses handle COVID-19

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Controversial Cowichan tiny house still in place after removal deadline

Cowichan Valley Regional District had ordered it removed by March 15

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

No April Fool’s jokes from Black Press Media

Only factual stories to be printed, despite day calling for hilarity

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Vancouver Island’s ‘Project Draw Breath’ expands and diversifies to battle pandemic

Grassroots team working to up supplies of ventilators, other equipment during COVID-19 crisis

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

Most Read