21 Oct 14 – MEDIA RELEASE
“Be safe and don’t crash were the final inspirational words that local air cadet Flight Sgt. (F/Sgt.) Chris Seymour kept in the back of his mind from his Flight Instructor on his first solo flight in a Cessna 150. At 17 years of age F/Sgt. Chris Seymour is a qualified private pilot after successfully completing a seven week course this past summer with 23 other Air Cadets. There was no monetary cost to the cadets other then there dedication to the Canadian Air Cadet Program, local ground school training and exceeding in the Ontario Provincial Air Cadet League testing and interviews.
F/Sgt. has been a member of the 155 Borden Grey Air Cadet Sqn. for 5 years here in Sault Ste Marie and is also the Drum Major in the Pipe and Drum Band. During the summer training sponsored by the Air Cadet League of Canada. Flight Instructor Chris Mill’s who taught and mentored F/Sgt. Seymour for just over ten hours of dual pilot training before Chris Seymour took over the controls on his first 20 minute solo flight. F/Sgt. Seymour stated that he was “concentrating on making sure I was confident and comfortable while talking with the tower”, at the Durham Flight Center located in the Oshawa Ontario area. This was one of five cadet flight training locations across Ontario. On his third solo flight which was the first time out side of the 25 mile control zone he was flying over Scugog Lake, “then while looking out the window there is a bunch of houses down there and I am 3,000 feet up flying by myself”. “It was definitely weird knowing that I am 100% responsible for getting this aircraft and myself back safely”.
On this past Wednesday night at the Pine Street Armoury was the annual 155 Sqn. Wings Parade. For over 100 years Canadian Pilots received their pilots wings at a formal parade. At this parade F/Sgt. Seymour was presented his wings by his mother Marion Seymour. He also was the recipient of the Al Taylor Bursary which was in the amount of $1,000.00 which can be used for flying lessons or education. The Reviewing Officer for the parade was Captain (Retired) Mark Lawson, who is employed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Aviation Services as the General Manager of Aviation Services here in Sault Ste Marie. He is a past Commanding Officer of the 155 Sqn. During his address to the cadets Mr Lawson commented on the good standard of the cadets uniforms. In his present position he routinely has to review applications for various positions which he commented, “when I see on the resume that an applicant has cadet experience he knows the caliber of the candidate because of his understanding of what the Canadian Cadet Movement teaches young people”.
Also during the Wings Parade summer training course qualifications were presented along with four year service medals and promotions for qualified cadets. The 155 is currently recruiting and is open to boys and girls of at least 12 years of age. One of the focuses of the Air Cadet program is the experience of flight. Local air cadets go at least once a year to CFB North Bay to take rides as a passenger in a glider to help foster the interest in flight and possibly eventually qualify for a glider pilots license or as F/Sgt Seymour did, qualify for his private pilot’s license.
To help those who may be interested in finding out more about the 155 and what you can learn, young people can aged 11 to 17 enter in our, Come Learn to Fly with 155 Paper Airplane contest. Each contestant will receive basic instruction in the principals of flight and there is a prize for the top flier in each of the three categories. To enter, go to www.aircadets.ca/155 for contest rules also down load the paper airplane to practice. Also on the website is more information about the 155 and the cadets activities in the community as well as awards they have won in Northern Ontario and at Provincial competitions. Other activities that our 155 cadets have participated in is a weekend exercise to the Sault Ste Marie Conservation Authority were cadets learned about navigating in the bush with a map and compass, Global Positioning System survival and shelter building while making new friends and having fun.