Becoming a glider pilot through motivation, perseverance and determination

August 13 at the Wings Parade, Harnoor Gill was presented his wings by Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) David C. Murphy.

BY HARNOOR GILL

Grade 11 student

Christ The King Catholic Secondary

Georgetown, Ontario

 

THE idea of being able to fly on my own has fascinated me ever since I was a little boy. From the time I first saw an airplane in the sky to the time I noticed the International Space Station circling the Earth, I have been interested in the world of aviation. Instead of playing with toy cars or trucks made of Lego, I used to be interested in creating an airplane or a spaceship instead. In fact, I first decided to join Air Cadets in the pursuit of being able to successfully earn my pilot’s license one day. The dream of being able to fly on my own has come true and this journey of mine did not come without challenges.

To obtain my glider pilot’s license, I went through many obstacles. The first step was participating in Ground School and this was designed to help familiarize one with the aviation terminology. I learned about the way a plane works with the Theory of Flight, the various weather conditions in meteorology and going in the right direction in the sky with navigation. I cannot thank my Ground School instructor enough for going out of the way to teach so much about aviation, which would help us succeed in becoming pilots in the future.

Before I knew it, it was time for me to get ready and study for the Glider Pilot Scholarship’s entrance exam conducted by the Air Cadet Program. I spent my winter break going over lots of practice exams as well as making notes in order to help me prepare for the exam. I wrote the exam along with other cadets across Ontario and did quite well by scoring 80-plus per cent. This allowed me to move on to the second part of the intake process for the scholarship – the interview. During the interview, I was asked various questions and it was a general test to see how well I could handle answering them as well as my skills in displaying confidence.

I waited for a long time and finally in mid-May I received the results. I had been selected to be a part of the six-week Glider Pilot Scholarship. Once I received my acceptance package and pre-course study guide, I started studying right away in order to have an easy transition into the course.

These past six weeks have been full of various challenges, both up in the air with my flights and down on the ground with segment exams as well as the Transport Canada (TC) Glider Exam. Admittedly, I have never dealt with stress as much as this before because of having to successfully complete my flights before time ran out or successfully passing both my Ground School Segment Exams and the TC exam to obtain my Glider Pilot’s license.

Besides the stress of flying and the Ground School, I had an enjoyable time as well as a great learning experience while I was at the Trenton Cadet Training Centre (TCTC).

Now, I am officially a glider pilot. I can bring back knowledge as well as experience to my own squadron. Without the help of my Commanding Officer or the Ground School at my squadron, I would not be a glider pilot today.

It just goes to show that with the right amount of motivation, perseverance and determination anyone can make the impossible become a possibility.