Salmon Arm cadet has experiences of a lifetime

News Article / August 22, 2019

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By Captain Angela Sargent

Cadet Warrant Officer First Class (WO1) Nicholas Lourens, 17, from Salmon Arm, British Columbia, is having a summer he will never forget. He’s learning to fly with Canadian Flight Centre at Boundary Bay Airport, just south of Vancouver, British Columbia, where he will earn his private pilot’s licence.

And, on July 19, 2019, he was selected to have a VIP experience with the Canadian Armed Forces’ Demonstration CF-188 Hornet.

WO1 Lourens is a cadet with 222 Shushwap Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, and is one of just 34 cadets in British Columbia to receive a scholarship from the Department of National Defence that covers his flying lessons, and his accommodation and travel. He is one of a group of 12 cadets who are training together at the airport in Delta, British Columbia. He was selected for the CF-188 VIP experience based on his performance so far on the flying scholarship course. There will be just 10 VIP experiences with the Hornet for cadets this summer across the county.

“My dad took me to Salmon Arm Airport one day after daycare when I was four years old,” WO1 Lourens says. “I looked at a plane and I thought, ‘This is IT!’ I’ve wanted to be a pilot since then. That is why I joined cadets, and now I’m achieving that dream thanks to this program.”

WO1 Lourens, who dreams of flying the Griffon helicopter with the RCAF, always felt a little ‘weird’ being so passionate about planes and flying. That all changed when he joined the Cadet Program. “I didn’t feel weird in cadets,” he says. “I joined for the flying, but the best part is the friends I have made along the way. It feels cool to have found them, and I have made some great buddies.”

He has just graduated from Salmon Arm Secondary School and hope to pursue a lifelong career in aviation.

The Cadet Program develops confident, self-sufficient leaders who form lasting friendships and are engaged in their communities, while they promote physical fitness and healthy living, and foster an interest in the activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.


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