This week, air cadets from the 861 Silverfox squadron in Abbotsford flew in a restored Second World War training aircraft at the Victoria Flying Club in north Saanich, B.C.
The cadets flew in the Harry Hannah Boeing PT-27 Stearman as part of the Raytheon Canada Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Program.
“This experience was something I will never forget,” said Tim Keis (in photo below) of his flight.
“While at the controls of the Stearman, I felt I was part of history, actively pursuing a greater knowledge of it.”
Keis is currently taking part in the power pilot scholarship in Victoria and will be attending Trinity Western University to study communications with a concentration in aviation.
Natasha Snelgrove, also of Abbotsford, said flying in the Stearman was a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“Never having experienced flying in an open cockpit with a radial engine … it is definitely one I will not forget,” she said.
After graduating from high school, Snelgrove plans to work toward her helicopter licence and perhaps serve in the Canadian Forces as a pilot.
Over the course of the five-day leadership program, 50 air cadets will strap into the cockpit and go flying in the Stearman.
The program uses vintage training aircraft – collectively known as Yellow Wings – as a teaching tool to highlight Canada’s rich aviation history and the tangible benefits of pursing a career in science, technology, engineering and math.
More than 500 cadets from across Canada will fly in Yellow Wings aircraft this summer.