(AUGUST 12, 2013 – GREENWOOD, NOVA SCOTIA)
A unique program called the Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative came to a successful end this weekend in Greenwood, Nova Scotia. It was the last of nine cross-Canada events for Royal Canadian Air Cadets taking place over 50 days this summer. The Initiative reached more than 6,000 young men and women in communities across Canada and provided an opportunity for 500 deserving cadets to go flying in beautifully restored, historically-significant Second World War aircraft.
Created by Vintage Wings of Canada in partnership with the Air Cadet League of Canada and the Air Cadet Program, the Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative uses seven Second World War training aircraft – collectively known as Yellow Wings – as unique teaching tools to highlight Canada’s rich aviation history and the tangible value and benefits of pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and math. Each session includes a powerful motivational video message recorded especially for this program by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station.
Last weekend in Greenwood, hundreds of air cadets received “hands-on” tours the Yellow Wings aircraft and 50 cadets got to strap into the cockpit of some of the aircraft and go flying. “We can sit and lecture about aerodynamics, science, technology, engineering and math, but the aircraft encompasses all of that,” said Todd Lemieux, Chair of the Vintage Wings of Canada Board of Director and lead for the Yellow Wings Initiative. “When young people get into that airplane, all of that applied math and science comes together and they see it is as something worthwhile they can work towards.”
Youth from across the country shared their thoughts on the Yellow Wings Youth Leadership Initiative on a Facebook page called 500 Dreams Take Wing. https://www.facebook.com/500DreamsTakeWing
Comment from an Alberta Youth:
Aster Hill (14), Lacombe, Alberta – To be chosen meant, to me, that I was doing well in my course and that I should continue to do so. I’m planning on being a police officer when I finish school. I would like to say thank you so much to those who donated and sponsored this program, it was a once in a life time experience and I will remember it forever.
A few words from some of the wonderful young Canadians to WW II veteran Harry Hanna about their flights in “his” airplane the Boeing PT-27 Stearman
Tim Keis, Langley, BC – Thank you so much for your service, you are an inspiration to us all. We all look up to you and respect you at the highest level. Thank you sir, you deserve every ounce of thanks.
Natasha Snelgrove, Abbotsford, BC – Hello Mr. Hannah, it was an awesome experience to have the opportunity to fly in the Stearman and hearing your story. It was both very inspiring and honouring, especially how you persevered through the difficulties in the war. We have a deep respect for you. My grandfather served in WW2 as a fighter pilot and one day I wish to serve in the forces also as a fighter pilot. Thank you for serving our nation. After flying the Stearman for the first time this afternoon, I would love to fly it as the pilot one day.