Learning to fly

Jason Malloy
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Local air cadet takes to the skies at summer camp

DEBERT - Josh Froebe has gotten to see a lot more of Central Nova Scotia than most this summer.

The 16-year-old Pugwash native is one of the 47 cadets from across the country working to become licensed glider pilots.

"I just like being able to fly and go up and down wherever I want to go and look in everybody's backyard," he joked recently as he waited his

turn up in the air.

Asked if he could see his home community from high above the ground, he replied: "If Wentworth wasn't in the way I could."

Froebe has been a member of the 77 Arrowhead Squadron in Truro for four years. He remembers the feeling of taking controls on his first solo flight.

"I was kind of nervous at first, but once I got up there I remembered everything they taught me, so it was pretty good," he said.

Gander, N.L. resident Chris Langdon said he has a lot of fun taking part in the program.

"There's no words to describe how it feels to go solo for the first time," the 16-year-old said. "You kind of look behind you and you're like, 'there's

no one here helping me. I'm doing this all by myself.' "

He said his knees were shaking when he hit the ground but everything went smoothly and continues to get better with each flight.

Langdon said he loves being at the controls in the glider.

"There's no engines in the glider, so flying around without the (sound) of the engine is great. It's really relaxing up there," he said.

The cadets sit in the glider and are towed into the air by a plane. The gliders usually fly about 1,700 to 3,200 feet above ground.

Local landmarks stand out like the Trans-Canada Highway 104, Cobequid Bay and Chiganois Elementary School.

Langdon has about five more solo flights and a test to complete before earning his pilot wings. Froebe, who is about halfway through his flights,

said it is a demanding program.

"The flying for me is pretty easy but the academic stuff was a little more challenging," he said. "I had to really buckle down and get studying, but I

got through it and passed my Transport Canada exam."

If all goes well and the weather co-operates, the school should be holding a graduation ceremony in about a few days.

Froebe has a message for other youth in the region.

"This course is a lot of fun and I recommend it to any new cadets. It's really something to go for," he said.

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway 104, Chiganois Elementary School, Transport Canada

Geographic location: Pugwash, Truro, Cobequid Bay

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