Honorary Colonel (HCol) Robert Quartermain was appointed as honorary colonel of 19 Wing Comox last month, but his passion for the Royal Canadian Air Force began much earlier than that.
Just like many air cadets at the Comox Cadet Flying Training Centre, HCol Quartermain spent a summer as a cadet in 1973 earning his pilot licence. This summer, he had a chance to take a trip down memory lane with a visit to the gliding field, back to where it all started.
“My last flight in a glider was 45 years ago,” said HCol Quartermain with excitement as he strapped himself into the glider. And in a few minutes, the canopy closes overhead and a team of four cadets pushes the aircraft out onto the runway, ready for takeoff.
The Glider Pilot Scholarship is an intensive seven-week training program that takes a select group of air cadets, 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 licence.
When asked how his flight went after it landed, HCol Quartermain noted “how incredibly quiet it was in the air.” Before leaving the gliding field that day, HCol Quartermain reminisced about his time in the cadet program.
“The air cadet program was instrumental in preparing me for the corporate world by teaching me discipline, leadership, teamwork, and the importance of having a strong work ethic.”
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 Cadet Program is to instill in youth the attributes of leadership, citizenship, physical fitness, and an interest in the air, land, and sea activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.