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

Just Posted

Victoria People’s Party candidate says campaign signs stolen around city

PPC candidate Alyson Culbert says she finds theft ‘disturbing’

Sidney could take additional action around speculation tax

Council to consider steps later this fall after staff review of provincial statistics

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Andrew Berry trial nears end, Victoria joins tree-planting pledge and more

Three second-half goals lead Cavalry over Victoria’s Pacific FC

Cavalry FC downed Pacific FC 4-1 on Sunday in Canadian Premiere League action

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read