By Sonya Anderson

Twelve-year-old Jack Anderson joined Air Cadets in September. Within three weeks, he was already given an opportunity to experience the joy of flight through the Air Cadet gliding program.

“I felt more excited waking up today than I ever have on Christmas morning,” said Cadet Anderson, on how he felt as he prepared for his first time gliding.

The aim of the glider familiarization program is to provide each Cadet with at least one familiarization flight per year. The programs are conducted on weekends from March to June and from September to November at more than 60 locations across Canada, ranging from Transport Canada airports to approved grass operating areas.

Two planes are involved in gliding, the powered tow plane and the engine-less glider. Anderson described his experience as one of the most exciting things he’s ever done. 

“I have to admit, I was nervous as we prepared to release from the tow plane, but once we cut loose it was so quiet and peaceful and the feeling of gliding through the air was so awe-inspiring,” he said.

The Air Cadet program is open to all Canadian youth aged 12 to 18. Air Cadets take part in fun activities, at a Cadet Squadron within their local community, that are designed to help youth become more self-confident, develop leadership skills, improve physical fitness and communication skills, and teach self-discipline through challenging training. There are more than 25,000 Air Cadets that are members of 453 Squadrons across Canada.

Visit aircadetleague.com to find out about an Air Cadets program in your community.

Photo: Air Cadet glider. Sonya Anderson photo