Captain Geri Stewart is a familiar face at Comox Cadet Flying Training Center.
Over the last 21 years, this Shuswap resident has seen thousands of gliders take off and land as she hovers over a whiteboard, a stack of paper and pen in hand, meticulously jotting down notes. Her role? Official timekeeper on the gliding field.
Time is an invaluable piece of information to both pilots and the aircraft maintenance team. Pilots need to track their hours in their logbook, while the maintenance team needs to know when to schedule maintenance on an aircraft for safety and compliance.
When asked what keeps her coming back year after year, this she replied with a smile, “It’s fun! Watching teens come in for their first flight with their instructor, to being able to fly the aircraft by themselves is a neat experience.”
When the summer comes to an end, Stewart will be back in her hometown helping things run smoothly at 222 Shuswap Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron. In the meantime, she’s busy keeping track of where everyone is, who’s ready to go flying, who’s about to launch and who is in the air.
The Glider Pilot Scholarship is a seven-week training program that takes a select group of air cadets, ages 16 and older, and provides them with classroom instruction and in-the-air training that allows them to earn their Glider Pilot Wings. Successful candidates graduate with their Transport Canada Glider Pilot License.
There are many summer training courses attended by approximately 20,000 Sea, Army and Air Cadets across Canada this summer.
The Cadet Program is for youth 12-18 years of age. The aim of the program is to install in youth the attributes of leadership, citizenship, physical fitness and an interest in the air, land, and sea activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.