Cadet Lyra Hindrichs with her flight instructor

Sweet 16 and flying high

Sixteen-year-old Lyra Hindrichs of Sooke has taken to the sky, flying in a glider. Apparently, she likes it up there.

What do you do when you’re 16 and can’t get beyond the Learner’s stage with a driver’s licence? According to one young Sooke resident, the answer is quite easy: Learn to fly, of course!

Lyra Hindrichs has taken to the sky, flying in a glider. Apparently, she likes it up there.

“I just like the freedom, and seeing the world from above,” said Hindrichs in conversation. “I’ve done a lot of flying in the bigger planes, but it’s not the same (as) when you’re in control.”

Cadet Lyra Hindrichs of Sooke, spent six weeks of her summer at the Regional Gliding School (Pacific) on the Air Cadet Glider Pilot Scholarship Course. She was one of 44 Air Cadets selected from across British Columbia who had the opportunity to pursue their Transport Canada Glider Pilot License.

According to a press released issued by the school, Hindrichs flew in one of the Schweizer 2-33A gliders, which are owned by the BC Provincial Committee of the Air Cadet League of Canada.

When asked what receiving the Glider Pilot Scholarship meant to her, Hindrichs said, “The Glider Pilot Scholarship course has been an incredible experience and an amazing introduction to flying. I love the thrill of gliding and I hope that I will continue to soar wherever I go.”

Her first solo flight “was amazing. I only went up to 1,500 feet, but with no one in the back telling me what to do, and just being able to do what I wanted to, it felt really relaxing. I was extremely excited.”

Hindrichs also received two awards upon completing her course, proudly posted on the Regional Gliding School (Pacific) Facebook fan page (https://www.facebook.com/RGSPacific).

“FSgt Lyra Hindrichs, 848 sqn, is presented with the Harry Astoria memorial award as the runner up to top overall cadet on the Glider Pilot Course. She also receives the CFIs [sic] award for top flight test!”

As Hindrichs explains in a follow-up email, the Harry Astoria award goes to the cadet “who displayed a high degree of flying skills, airmanship, maturity, and self-discipline.” The 2013 CFI award is “presented to the glider cadet attaining the highest mark on the flight test and judged to be the best pilot by the GPS course staff. This award has also been signed by Queen Elizabeth” (pictured left).

“These young men and women have worked very hard to get here on scholarship, and will continue to work even harder throughout the course” said Lt.-Col Tony Appels, Commanding Officer of RGS (Pacific).

Cadet Hindrichs is a member of 848 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in Langford, BC. Hindrichs studied all aspects of aviation in order to pass an entrance exam, prior to sitting before a review board.  Her school marks, cadet service, leadership and physical fitness are also evaluated as part of the selection process. At the conclusion of the intense six week training period, the successful students received their coveted Air Cadet Glider Pilot Wings on graduation day, August 15.

The Royal Canadian Air Cadets is a national co-educational youth organization sponsored by the Canadian Forces in partnership with the civilian Air Cadet League of Canada. In British Columbia there are approximately 3,700 Air Cadets enrolled in 57 Squadrons. The BC Ministry of Education, Skills and Training recognizes the cadet program as a “ministry- accepted External Course” for which students may receive graduation credit.