A local teen just got his wings and is free to fly.
Flight Sgt. Johnathan Haynes, 18, of the 747 Unicorn Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron here in Terrace received his private pilot’s licence after seven weeks at the Regional Gliding School (Pacific) in the Air Cadet Private Pilot Scholarship Course at 19 Wing Comox this summer.
Haynes was one of 36 air cadets from across the province selected for the program.
He can now fly all single pilot non-high-performance single engine land airplanes.
“I felt like all the effort in my life just came together in one moment and I succeeded,” said Haynes.
“I took the microphone off my head and screamed as loud as I could because nobody can hear you up there.”
He has wanted to be a pilot as long as he can remember.
“I’ve never had another career choice,” he said.
And the seven-week program was pretty intense as non-military people can take one year to one-and-a-half years to get a pilot’s licence, said Haynes.
He was up early in the morning and at the flight school from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and then spent time after that studying.
So there wasn’t much free time.
His acceptance into the program was based on an exam on aviation knowledge, his school marks, cadet service, leadership and physical fitness and what a review board said.
Haynes had to past a pre-solo test to be allowed to fly solo for the first time and then had to pass the Transport Canada Private Pilot written exam of 100 questions and three hours to complete it.
He scored 80 per cent on both exams.
Then for the flight test, an examiner sits beside him and tells him to go through maneuvers and he has to complete them.
Ultimately he wants to get his commercial licence and fly commercial airplanes.
“My private licence is my licence to learn,” he said.
“Now I have to find a plane so I can fly it. I need 200 hours to go get my commercial licence.”
That could mean finding someone with a plane who would let him fly it or buying his own plane, which can cost $30,000, he said.
“I kind of don’t believe it quite yet, that I can actually fly a plane,” he said, adding his friends think he’s “God’s gift to the Earth” because they’re all working low income jobs and he has his pilot’s licence.