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Cadets treated to flights in vintage aircraft

Flying high - A cadet experiences breaking the surly bonds of earth in a de Havilland Tiger Moth as photographed by an excited photographer in a North American Harvard. Ross Lees photo

Flying high – A cadet experiences breaking the surly bonds of earth in a de Havilland Tiger Moth as photographed by an excited photographer in a North American Harvard. Ross Lees photo

By Ross Lees
One hundred cadets at CFB Trenton and Mountain View had one of the most amazing experiences of their young lives while attending the Trenton Air Cadet Summer Training Centre (TACSTC).

They were given the chance to fly in Second World War aircraft – a North American Harvard, a Fleet Finch and a de Havilland Tiger Moth.

One hundred flights of 500 across Canada this summer were flown in these vintage aircraft as part of the educational outreach program, Yellow Wings, developed by Vintage Wings of Canada to address the challenge of turning young people on to science, technology, engineering and math, and motivating them to pursue their dreams through hard-work and discipline.

As the TACSTC is one of Canada’s largest Air Cadet training centres with approximately 1,600 cadets participating in various summer training courses, it represents an ideal audience for this educational outreach. Also, Trenton and Mountain View are especially relevant venues for the training initiative given the historic significance of the base to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

There is even one more major tie to Trenton and Mountain View with this program – the four pilots flying the aircraft all attended TACSTC and took part in the Central Region Flying School.

Edward Soye, a Reserve Captain flying in the Vintage Wings program as a civilian during his holidays this summer, is satisfying his passion, turning the cadets onto flying and history and hopefully giving them an experience they will never forget.

“They’ve been having a great time,” he said of the cadets. “We’ve taken people flying who have never been in an airplane at all; who’ve only been in a glider, and people who have done it a couple of times before in light airplanes and they all enjoy stepping back in time and experiencing the County and all the wartime airfields from a Second World War airplane.”

Kaitlyn Buckborough and Ben Domik were two such cadets.

“It was amazing! It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” said Kaitlyn of her flight. “That’s just brilliant! It’s hard to explain how cool that is.”

Ben was equally enthusiastic about his flight.

“I really liked it, it was very nice! To fly in a World War II plane made me feel really honoured. I felt very thankful for everyone there,” he said.

The thrill doesn’t stop with the cadets, according to Soye.

“It’s a thrill just to fly the airplanes but it’s also great to give back to the program that we learned to fly in and share these airplanes with other cadets and hoping to inspire them to pursue their dreams,” he said.

Soye works for an investment management firm in Toronto as an equity analyst spending his days evaluating companies.

“This (flying Vintage Wing aircraft) is really my passion,” he said. “This is what I love doing. My academic background is in history. I have a Masters degree from Royal Military College in war studies and I really enjoy old airplanes from a flying standpoint and in terms of sharing the historical context surrounding them.”

CFB-Trenton-overviewCFB Trenton overview
This Fleet Finch carries a cadet over the friendly skies of CFB Trenton Tuesday morning. Photo Ross Lees

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This Fleet Finch taxies past a parked C-177 Globmaster III. Photo Ross Lees

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  1. gil says:

    As indicated by the above great article by Ross Lees,the Cadet program is a fantastic avenue for all young folks 12 years and older to learn responsibility,gain self respect and pride in all their accomplishments.
    Travel, meeting new friends and challenges are a bonus to this program.
    Please call 851 Squadron at 613-476-6881 for more information. Note: The Air Cadet program begins again in Sept.

  2. Ben Domik says:

    I LOVED flying in the finch! I just want to thank the vintage wings for taking cadets and giving them a taste of past and excitement! I hope more cadets get the chance to fly with this amazing program!

    -Ben Domik

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