Cadets soar with flying club

Vancouver Soaring Association offers chance for cadets to fly

Off they go into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun…is the concept behind the Air Cadet League of Canada’s partnership with the Vancouver Soaring Association at Hope Airport.

The six best air cadet pilots in the province are in town to test their skills against Hope’s challenging terrain.

Wind funneling in from the sea and into the valley rushes along the region’s mountain ridge-lines making conditions in Hope perfect for soaring. Primary and secondary “waves” undulating over mountains give rise to air pockets keeping gliders aloft.

“Cadets don’t normally get to soar for an hour like they do [here],” VSA president James Swank said.

The VSA is providing cadets the use of its aircraft. The gliders used by the cadets at bases in places such as Comox are primary for straight and up and downs and don’t lend themselves to soaring. Flights in Hope with VSA aircraft may last as long as five hours with pilots reaching heights of 10,000 feet.

“The cadet commander was in the air for seven and a half hours the other day,” Swank said.

Pilots also work on becoming more technically proficient in Hope.

The mountainous terrain, close proximity to town and restrictions placed on pilots due to the physical geography enhance their skill-set.

But getting here meant the air cadets earned their way in. All of them went above and beyond the call of duty.

Sergeant Paul Heim, 16, of Prince George’s squadron 396 made top honours to earn his ticket. He’s excited about gliding.

“It’s magical,” he said.

His mother and father were in the air cadets but didn’t pursue a career in the military. Scared when he made his first glider flight Heim now has Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot ambitions.

For Heim and his fellow cadets the chance to push themselves physically and mentally is paramount to their success. For the soaring association the goal is to promote soaring.

But both organizations agree on having wind beneath their wings.

Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Walk-in COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday

Walk-in appointments available while supplies last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read